The takeaways that SEIU didn’t want you to see

May 16th, 2012

When SEIU announced its “great contract” with Kaiser Permanente, one thing was clearly missing: the actual tentative agreements.

Only by reviewing the agreement between SEIU and Kaiser can workers make up our own minds about the takeaways that SEIU have agreed to.

NUHW has obtained a copy of the tentative agreements and we’re sharing them with Kaiser workers today. We’ve also included comments that help to explain the tentative agreements. Please download and share the document, which you can find at this link: 2012 CKPU National Bargaining Tentative Agreements.

Here’s a summary of SEIU’s takeaways: 

  • SEIU agreed to cuts in retiree health by agreeing that when a cap on spending is reached after 2017, benefit cuts can be implemented.  
  • SEIU agreed to charge a “partnership tax” of 9 cents for every hour that we work. That is in addition to our regular union dues. Altogether, SEIU-UHW’s members will now pay at least $6 million a year in “partnership taxes.”  
  • SEIU also agreed that the partnership tax can be increased “as needed.”  
  • SEIU failed to decrease the wage gap between Northern and Southern California. In fact, SEIU’s agreement increases that wage gap.  
  • SEIU accepted wage increases of 3%, 3%, 3% while the Kaiser agreed to wage increases of 5%, 5%, 5% with the California Nurses Association, a non-partnership union, with no takeaways, including no takeaways on retiree health.  
  • SEIU gave up our right to local bargaining (See page 3 of pdf). That means that there will be no negotiating on shift differentials, work load, wage equity adjustments, job descriptions or other important worksite issues. At the end of this contract, it will have been ten years since SEIU allowed any bargaining on our local agreement.
  • In this agreement, SEIU and Kaiser will make UBT’s a place where we discuss our health, including BMI, smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure levels. SEIU agreed to allow Kaiser Permanente to monitor our private health decisions, including creating health care monitors who will be paid with the increased partnership tax.

The proper response to these takeaways is to vote “No” to SEIU’s agreement with its partner Kaiser Permanente.

Ralph Cornejo, Kaiser Director
National Union of Healthcare Workers