August 2, 2019

Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions receives strong offer

Employees represented by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions have been offered attractive wages and benefits and the chance to partner on workforce shortages.

Oakland, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente has presented a proposal to leadership of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions that would provide annual pay increases and maintain excellent employee benefits while also creating a program that would seek to reduce the national shortage of health care workers.

In the coming days, Coalition-represented employees will receive information that outlines a proposed agreement that positions Kaiser Permanente — including its members, employees and local communities — for a sustainable future as the organization works to make its high-quality, integrated model of care more affordable and accessible.

“Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions have been working together toward a mutually beneficial national agreement, as we have done for decades,” said Arlene F. Peasnall, senior vice president, HR Consulting and National Human Resources at Kaiser Permanente. “Our most recent proposal was presented to Coalition leadership on Friday, July 26, and we are now sharing it directly with employees to ensure they receive the full offer accurately. We are hopeful that our employees will value our proposal and the Coalition will move forward with us to reach a new agreement. Our goal is to continue to make Kaiser Permanente a great place to give and receive care.”

The bargaining proposal would provide employees with the following best-in-class conditions:

  • Solid wage increases. The average salary of Coalition-represented employees is already higher than market averages. Mindful of our goal to improve the affordability of health care and engage our employees in the effort, the current proposal provides guaranteed wage increases across the board each year through 2022. This includes:
    • In Northern and Southern California, annual increases of 3% each year through 2022.
    • In Hawaii, the Mid-Atlantic States, Northwest, and Washington, annual increases of 3%, achieved through a 2% increase in base pay, combined with a 1% payment each year through 2022.
    • In Colorado — where we have been making changes to our business to become more competitive and stay relevant in the market — increases of 1% in 2019 and 2% each year from 2020 through 2022.
  • Opportunities for new hires. Working side by side, Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition are proposing a program to be a part of the solution to address the national shortage of health care workers and help develop the next generation of unionized workers in health care. The proposal includes new-hire training positions for certain roles and $40 million for a Workforce Development Fund. Newly trained workers will have the opportunity to join the Kaiser Permanente workforce in training steps while they learn on the job, culminating in employment at Step 1 of the organization’s pay scales.
  • Retirement security. The proposal preserves the existing defined benefit pension plan along with other strong retirement benefits. It also includes an increase to the Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account to $2,500 for each year of service beginning in 2021 with an agreement to eliminate the premium subsidy for new hires.
  • Career mobility. The proposal includes a more robust tuition reimbursement program for employees that adds an additional $250 to travel funds.
  • Affordable health care. The proposal includes a pharmacy utilization approach that incents employees to take greater responsibility for their health by rewarding them for increasing their use of mail-order prescriptions.

“Kaiser Permanente and its members rely on employees represented by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions,” said Peasnall. “This most recent offer is a testament to the dedication, compassion, and skill those employees bring to work each and every day.”    

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.


Marc Brown