The Service Employees International Union Local 105 sent a notice announcing Kaiser employees’ intention to strike for three days if an agreement is not reached.
DENVER – Kaiser Permanente Employees who are members Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 announced their intention to strike from October 4th to 6th over allegations of unfair practices unless an agreement is reached beforehand.
The current contract that Kaiser has concluded with its employees expires on September 30th. SEIU Local 105 said Friday that the potential strike would involve more than 75,000 health care workers nationwide and would be the largest health strike in U.S. history.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado confirmed Friday that it had received notice of a possible three-day strike and said it continues to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair and equitable agreement with employees.
“A notice of strike does not mean that a strike will occur,” Kaiser said in a statement. “Our top priority is caring for our members and patients, and we have plans in place to ensure we can continue to provide high quality care even in the event of a strike.”
The union maintains that Kaiser is not denying in good faith, but also said it is time to reach an agreement and avoid a work stoppage.
“Kaiser leaders are not negotiating in good faith and are violating the law,” said Stephanie Felix-Sowy, president of SEIU Local 105. “From call centers to clinics to acute care, we need Kaiser leaders to listen to health officials on the front lines .” Nursing staff so we can prevent the damage that is accelerating due to Kaiser’s staffing crisis. ”
Kaiser said it was offering the following in negotiations:
- Wage increases to maintain workers’ wages at or above market levels
- A nationwide minimum wage
- Continuation of existing health insurance and retirement plans
- Renewal of student grants and training programs
The SEIU cited unaffordable wages and unsafe staffing as key concerns.
“Workers say that because of the staffing crisis, patients are paying higher treatment fees but experiencing worse outcomes, including less hands-on attention, longer delays, limited access and poorer health outcomes,” SEIU Local 5 said in a news release.
Earlier this month, union employees at Kaiser Permanente facilities in Colorado and across the country authorized a strike if a collective bargaining agreement could not be reached.
Representatives from the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions recently traveled to California, where negotiations were scheduled to continue Thursday and Friday.
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