Straight Talk: Status 5 Bargaining Update

Sisters and Brothers of the USW/Status 5 at Kaiser Permanente:

We continue our good faith efforts negotiating contract terms from Kaiser Permanente to cover the Status Five employees under our USW Local 7600 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Our last meeting was on August 12th.

We are working hard to achieve reasonable and fair compensation for all our Status Five employees. All other issues have been tentatively agreed, as we reported to you in June.

We are tackling the wage disparity that has left the great majority of our Status Five employees far behind the standards set in our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Our proposals would immediately and retroactively bring the Status 5 employees up to a wage standard commensurate with their duties and reflective of their years of service as Kaiser Permanente Employees. We’ve been working closely with our Technicians, Staff Representative, Int’l Legal Department,   and District Director to fully consider our options, cost out the various impacts of proposals, and understand the implications for our Status Five employees. It’s important to note that our proposals provide added compensation, in addition to the significant job protections contained in the CBA, to every single member of the Status Five group, regardless of your current wage rate.

To be clear, Kaiser Permanente has not agreed to our current wage counter-proposal; they are deliberating over its terms and almost certainly determining our proposal’s overall impact to their operating costs. Kaiser’s earlier position was that certain employees were currently compensated generously and therefore those employees should not receive any added compensation until others caught up. We disagree, and we continue to proposed additional compensation for all, albeit in various ways that would be fair and just for all Status Five employees.  We remain optimistic that Kaiser will provide a more reasonable response in the coming negotiating sessions.

We have achieved much since certifying Status Five employees, and we are confident that, with your continued demonstrations of solidarity and support, we will deliver a package for which all Status 5 employees can be proud of in the very near future.

As always, please remind your managers and co-workers that you stand with the USW to improve the conditions and wages at Kaiser.

We will be meeting with Kaiser Permanente to reconvene negotiations on August 19 & 21.  We will keep you posted! 

                                                                                GO STEELWORKERS!