Kaiser health care works, represented by a union for nearly 2,000 of them, have announced Tuesday night that they plan to go on strike later this month on the Big Island. This was decided later this month after the negotiations wound up failing.
Kaiser Workers will Strike
On November 22nd, the strike will begin and thus impact 20 Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hawaii.
There are concerns about wages and staffing shortages. That is why workers are striking. Moreover, they believe the company has failed to address these issues.
Kaiser actually offered a 2% pay raise plus a two-tier wage system that was going to cut up to a third of the wages for the future hires. The union said.
On September 30th, a contract between Kaiser and the union has expired.
Workers are Really Fed Up!
Stephanie Meredith is a ward clerk in labor and delivery at Kaiser’s Moanalua facility. She said: “Enough is enough!”
“We wouldn’t tolerate having health care heroes turning into health care zeroes. In fact, we are going to fight for what we are worth. That is the future of our jobs and our community. As long as it takes, we will be here. That is until Kaiser Permanente does wake up and get it right.”
The union has said 93% of members that did vote to authorize the strike in October.
Arlene Peasnall, said in a statement, Kaiser Permanente senior vice president of Human Resources, that Hawaii’s union-represented employees have earned about 26% above the average market wage. Then, Kaiser is offered is up to 4% yearly pay raises. This is a 2% pay increase plus a 2% cash payout each year of a four-year contract.
“Indeed, the challenge we are going to try to address in partnership with our unions there is an increasingly unaffordable cost of healthcare. There are wages and benefits that do account for half of Kaiser Permanente’s operational costs,” she said.