Steady progress on agreements cited
Roseville, Calif.- UPDATED: Strike Averted: Northern California Kaiser Nurses reach tentative agreement
In response to the article, Registered Nurses at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville to take part in two-day strike, Kaiser Permanente reached out to Roseville Today to share their position regarding the planned strike and ongoing labor negotiations. Their unedited response in its entirety is provided below.
Our nurses’ dedication to providing expert, compassionate care, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, has been nothing short of inspiring. We are committed to continuing to provide excellent compensation and a work environment committed to well-being, safety, and professional opportunities for our nurses.
We have been in bargaining with the California Nurses Association (CNA) for months, and have been making steady progress towards these goals, including in a session today. We have already reached important agreements in bargaining on staffing, workplace safety, diversity and inclusion, and other important matters.
In Northern California, we put an offer on the table, which includes higher annual raises for our nurses than we have been able to offer for decades – 22 1/2% in wage increases over 4 years of the contract. Our proposal is driven by the changing economy, including inflation, significant changes in the marketplace and our commitment to providing our employees with excellent pay and benefits.
It is disappointing to receive a strike notice from CNA for a 2-day strike Nov. 21 and 22, given the many agreements we have already reached in bargaining, and the generous economic proposal we are putting on the table. This tactic is counterproductive and distracts everyone from reaching agreement. Further, our patients need to have their nurses at their side, especially as we once again manage through a time when flu and RSV illness are affecting so many patients and COVID-19 is still very real and sickening thousands every day. Knowing the professionalism and dedication of our nurses, we believe they also would prefer to be with patients.
Right now, every health care provider in the nation is facing staffing shortages and fighting burnout, and Kaiser Permanente is not immune.
In spite of the acute shortage of nurses in the state, our commitment to being the best place for nurses to work has enabled Kaiser Permanente Northern California to hire about 3,300 additional nurses since 2021 of which 650 were new graduates hired through our nurse residency program. We are committed to hiring hundreds more additional nurses, in addition to the hundreds we are already bringing on board through aggressive recruitment and hiring, to provide relief for our nurses and address staffing shortages. As a result of all this work, we are proud that Kaiser Permanente has one of the lower turnover rates for nurses in health care, and we don’t take that achievement for granted. The union’s claims of unsafe staffing levels are not correct. Kaiser Permanente meets or exceeds state-mandated staffing ratios.
Our first priority is always the care and safety of our members and patients. We have contingency plans in place to ensure patients receive the care they need in the event CNA carries out a strike. Our hospitals, emergency departments, and medical offices will remain open and staffed by health care professionals. If a member has an appointment that is impacted by this CNA strike, we will reach out to ensure their needs are met.
Kaiser Permanente has a long and productive history with organized labor and we are proud of our ability to successfully reach agreements with our unions, which represent 160,000 Kaiser Permanente employees – more than any other health care organization in the nation. Labor unions have always played an important role in our efforts to give more people access to high-quality care and make care more affordable.
Note: In Northern CA, CNA represents about 21,000 nurses at locations across the region. In Southern CA, CNA represents 1,200 nurses at one medical center in Los Angeles.