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Striking Kaiser Permanente Workers Got Deal — And So Did Every Health Care Worker In California
Well that's just lovely!
“The frontline healthcare workers of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions are excited to have reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente,” SEIU-UHW union coalition said on social media. “We are thankful for the instrumental support of Acting US Labor Secretary Julie Su.”
Kaiser Permanente also echoed this thanks for Su on their own social media posts about the tentative agreement. Seems like she’s doing a pretty good job!
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She does have some experience here, after all — Kaiser Permanente is largely based in California, where Su was previously the Secretary of Labor.
All of the details of the agreement have not been released yet, but the workers did get a 21 percent pay increase over the next four years. There has also been a promise to accelerate hiring, which was one of the main issues raised by the striking workers, who say that the company’s understaffing problem is leading to burnout, which is not really a word you want to hear when health care workers are involved. One tired person mixes up some charts and you could end up in surgery having your leg removed (for real though — always check to make sure your bracelet matches your chart!).
Kaiser Permanente has also agreed to a minimum wage of $25 an hour in California and $23 elsewhere — which would be a lot more impressive if California Governor Gavin Newsom didn’t just sign a bill establishing a $25 minimum wage for healthcare workers.
It’s true! After signing some good bills and vetoing some good bills this week, Newsom signed another bill raising the minimum wage for healthcare workers to $25 an hour. That’s nice!
It’s also smart, because does no one ever think that we might want to be super nice to healthcare workers, given that they so often have our health and safety in their hands? Like, I think we should want them all well-rested and not burnt out and happy because it is the decent thing to do, but also because they could pretty easily kill us. I’m not saying that bad pay is gonna turn someone into Charles Cullen or Beverly Allitt, but people make mistakes when they are stressed out — and hospitals are kind of the last place we want anyone making mistakes.
It’s good to see that the strikes are working — hopefully this means that the other industries where workers are on strike will get the hint and get their acts together.