Kaiser Permanente averts strike in tentative deal with health care workers
Union leaders representing nearly 50,000 health care workers and medical staff reached a tentative agreement in a labor dispute Saturday, avoiding a strike set to begin Monday.
Why it matters: The breakthrough in talks comes as nurses, front-line technicians and other hospital employees face worker shortages and burnout due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The big picture: More than 30,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in Oregon, Washington, California and other states threatened to walk out on Monday over lower pay for new hires, Reuters reports.
- Kaiser and the Alliance of Health Care Unions ended up reaching a tentative four-year deal that includes wage increases, health and retirement benefits and bonus opportunities, per CBS News.
What they're saying: "This agreement will mean patients will continue to receive the best care, and Alliance members will have the best jobs," Hal Ruddick, executive director of Alliance, said in the statement.
- "This landmark agreement positions Kaiser Permanente for a successful future focused on providing high-quality health care that is affordable and accessible for our more than 12 million members and the communities we serve," said Christian Meisner, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Kaiser.
What's next: The agreement heads to union members for ratification, and, if ratified, it will become retroactive to Oct. 1.