December 8, 2021

USW Local 7600 Announces Tentative Agreement with Kaiser Permanente

FONTANA, Calif., Nov. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 today announced that the union reached a tentative…

FONTANA, Calif., Nov. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — United Steelworkers (USW) Local 7600 today announced that the union reached a tentative national and local agreement with Kaiser Permanente alongside the other 20 locals who together make up the Alliance of Health Care Unions.

“The past 20 months of the pandemic have been tough, and we made deep, personal sacrifices so we could keep helping our patients and our communities,” said USW Local 7600 President Michael Barnett. “We’ve more than earned a fair contract that reflects our contributions to Kaiser Permanente’s continuing success.”

Barnett said that the proposed contract represents important progress in narrowing the wage gap between Kaiser’s Inland Empire workforce and other area workers doing the same jobs, as well as beating back a proposed two-tier wage scale and making significant gains on staffing, racial justice, and more.

The Alliance Common Issues Committee (CIC) met today to approve the agreement. The next step is for the Delegates Conference to review and approve the agreement. Local leadership will then conduct membership information meetings and arrange ratification votes.

USW Local 7600 represents workers at 72 Kaiser Permanente locations in Southern California in a wide range of job classes, from respiratory care practitioners to surgical technicians, engineers, pharmacy technicians and assistants, licensed vocational nurses, dietary aides, environmental service workers, medical assistants, appointment clerks, phlebotomists, and more.

They are among the more than 50,000 members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions, who work in nearly every geographic area where Kaiser Permanente has a presence. 

“We began bargaining in April ready to negotiate in good faith for a fair contract, but management forced us to fight for it at every turn,” said USW Staff Representative Rosie Gonzalez. “I’m proud of our members’ unwavering strength and solidarity as we faced these challenges together and finally reached an agreement.”

USW Local 7600 also withdrew its notice of its intent to hold an unfair labor practice strike, which was set to begin Monday, Nov. 15.

The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.

Contact: Chelsey Engel, cengel@usw.org, 412-212-8173

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)