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San Dimas, CA – Registered Nurses and other health care professionals working at Kaiser Permanente facilities from Bakersfield to San Diego ratified a three-year contract yesterday, including new provisions aimed at improving the collective health of employees.
Over 12,000 Southern California Kaiser employees who are members of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) are impacted by the Kaiser Collective Bargaining Agreement ratification. UNAC/UHCP was the final union to ratify the contract. The entire National Agreement between the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and Kaiser covers more than 95,000 Kaiser employees nationwide. The contract starts October 1, 2012 and expires September 30, 2015.
“This contract will allow Registered Nurses, Optometrists, and other health care professionals at Kaiser to continue to be patient advocates,” said Ken Deitz, RN, Bargaining Team Member and UNAC/UHCP President. “We thank all the UNAC/UHCP members who came out to support the bargaining team because their overwhelming presence had an impact on the final product.”
Exceptional member participation during nine days of bargaining sessions from March through May was credited with preventing any contract losses. “Our presence at bargaining sessions is vital to the outcome,” said Janet Kazibwe, an RN in the Kaiser Downey Telemetry Unit.
While worker participation beyond members of the negotiating team is not uncommon, the high level of attendance from members from UNAC/UHCP was remarkable. In nine days, more than 1,500 UNAC/UHCP members observed the negotiations process.