Kaiser Permanente offers annual pay increases to labor unions
DOWNEY — 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:
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,” Kaiser said. 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 in 2020 through 2022.
Opportunities for new hires. Working side-by-side with the Coalition, 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 pension plan along with other strong retirement benefits. It also includes an increase to the Retiree Medical Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) 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.”