Kaiser Permanente and unions representing workers at the non-profit hospital, including SEIU Local 105 in Colorado, announced a tentative agreement today, averting a looming strike, which was already authorized by union workers.
The four-year deal, which still must be ratified, covers 11 unions across the country and 85,000 workers.
Bitter exchanges and even pickets in recent months pointed to a likely strike in the coming days.
But both sides seemed to put the animosity behind them today, praising the agreement as beneficial to workers, the company, and patients.
“We greatly respect and value our employees who deliver on our mission every day,” said Arlene Peasnall, interim chief human resources officer, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals. “This agreement is a testament to the dedication, compassion and skill those employees bring to work every day and demonstrates that Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition have a shared commitment to affordability for our members.”
Broadly, the agreement, among other things, guarantees annual wage increases through 2023 in specified states and Washington D.C., preserves a pension benefit, provides for workforce development, and restricts outsourcing, according to a Kaiser news release.
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions comprises 11 local unions from 3 international unions. It includes IFPTE Local 20, OPEIU Local 29, OPEIU Local 30, OPEIU Local 50/Hawaii Nurses Association, OPEIU Local 2, OPEIU Local 8, SEIU Local 49, SEIU-UHW, SEIU Local 121RN, SEIU Local 105 and SEIU 1199NW.
In Colorado, SEIU Local 105 represents 3,500 Kaiser Permanente workers.
The growing healthcare company covers 12.2 million members nationally, up from 12.1 million last year.