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Kaiser Permanente and unions reach tentative agreement

Kaiser Permanente and a coalition of unions representing about a third of its workforce have reached a tentative agreement, a week after tens of thousands of workers walked off the job in protest.

The agreement in principle, announced Friday morning social networks, was struck amid growing pressure from the Kaiser Permanente Union Coalition, which represents more than 85,000 workers at Kaiser hospitals and clinics.

Both Kaiser Permanentewhich is based in Oakland, and SEIU United Health Workers of the West, the largest union in the coalition, said it was pleased to have reached a tentative agreement and thanked Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su for her involvement.

More details are expected to be released on Friday.

Last week, more than 75,000 employees went on strike in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Virginia and Washington, D.C., in what union leaders described as the largest strike of workers in the country. health of the history of the United States. In most states the strike lasted three days; in some areas it was a single day.

Among the wide range of workers who went on strike were licensed vocational nurses, x-ray technicians, surgical technicians, phlebotomists, physician assistants, pharmacy technicians and respiratory therapists, as well as support staff such as housekeepers and food service workers.

The workers said they were protesting “bad faith negotiations” conducted by Kaiser executives as unions negotiated over wages and other issues that union leaders said had fueled a chronic personnel crisis that strains employees and jeopardizes patient care. Unions also said Kaiser’s proposed increases would not be enough to keep up with rising costs.

Kaiser executives said they were trying to reach an agreement in good faith and argued that the organization had worked to address the effects of a national crisis on the health care workforce, successfully reaching the goal of hiring 10,000 new employees represented by the coalition.

Days after the strike ended, unions warned that another, even larger strike could take place Nov. 1-8, after a collective bargaining agreement covering Seattle-area workers expires. The tentative agreement, if ratified, should avert such a strike.

Los Angeles Times

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