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Kaiser Permanente reaches tentative deal with union workers

Kaiser Permanente and the union representing thousands of health care workers have reached a tentative deal.

The tentative agreement could end the labor dispute that resulted last week in a three-day strike. Workers are expected to vote on whether to ratify the agreement in the coming weeks.

“The frontline healthcare workers of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions are excited to have reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente,” the union posted on social media. “We are thankful for the instrumental support of Acting US Labor Secretary Julie Su.”

About 75,000 workers represented by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions walked off the job Wednesday through Friday last week. The union referred to the action as the largest health care strike of its kind in U.S. history.

Another walkout was scheduled for next month.

Workers joined picket lines in California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Virginia and Washington, D.C. They included licensed vocational nurses, emergency department technicians, radiology technicians, ultrasound sonographers, teleservice representatives, respiratory therapists, X-ray technicians, certified nursing assistants, dietary services, behavioral health workers, surgical technicians, pharmacy technicians, transporters, home health aides, phlebotomists and medical assistants, union officials said.

The union coalition has asked for higher wages that meet the demands of inflation, increased staffing and improved working conditions.

Officals with Kaiser Pemanente said earlier bargaining sessions resulted in some tentative agreements that address the union’s demands. Those included offers of across-the-board wage increases over four years, a Performance Sharing Plan with potential payouts of up to $3,750, minimum wages of $23 an hour in California and $21 an hour in other locations, and the renewal of tuition assistance and training programs, according to Kaiser.

The company also said it has reached a goal of hiring 10,000 new union-represented employees before the end of the year.

Details of the tentative agreement announced Friday were not immediately available.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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