Sept. 4: Bargaining Update; What You Need To Know

Progress on racial justice, safety and dispute resolution; KP digs in on destructive staffing and economic positions

With contract negotiations entering their final scheduled days next week, our bargaining team made progress on racial justice, patient and worker safety, and improving dispute resolution. But KP clung to destructive, unsustainable positions on economics and staffing. The final national bargaining sessions are next Wednesday, September 8, through Friday, September 10.

“It’s hard to understand what their strategy is, if any – but KP negotiators have painted themselves into a corner, leaving many, many issues unresolved while doubling down on proposals that will exacerbate the crisis in staffing, worker shortages, patient care, and morale. We have made it clear we will never agree to proposals that threaten workers and patients,” said Nate Bernstein, Healthcare Director of UFCW Local 7. 

There were some bright spots of agreement. Labor and Management members of the Racial Justice subcommittee jointly recommended that Juneteenth be established as a paid holiday. They also recommended implementing processes and programs such as Belong@KP to address racial trauma/fatigue, funding citizenship assistance, and others. The labor side of the subcommittee recommended establishing a nonprofit organization dedicated to training underrepresented health care workers and the appropriate observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday. 

The subcommittee on patient and worker safety reached consensus on adding language to the National Agreement on Just Culture, a recognition program for reporting of near misses, identifying and developing a communication process for emergency preparedness, and updating prevention of workplace violence. The group also recommended creation of a National Health, Safety and Well-Being Committee to ensure that Just Culture and Psychological Safety are integrated into current work streams.