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On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the historic Labor Management Partnership, Kaiser Permanente faces record attrition and vacancies, jeopardizing the patient care experience

This Labor Day, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions honors frontline workers who tirelessly show up for their patients at Kaiser Permanente despite a worker staffing crisis that is pushing them to the limits and undermining the patient care experience.

Pandemic stress, burnout, and severe short staffing sparked an exodus of healthcare workers across the nation that continues at Kaiser Permanente. Add in inflation eating away at the value of wages, and the result is record levels of attrition and vacancies at Kaiser Permanente. The strain on the remaining understaffed workforce accelerates even more frontline staff leaving the field, exacerbating the problems.

The current staffing crisis is undercutting the patient care experience. Patient complaints to frontline staff about longer wait times, less personally focused care, and inadequate time for care are piling up.

In the past, Kaiser Permanente, with its historic Labor Management Partnership, would not have been so vulnerable to this massive test of the workforce. As the 25th anniversary of the Partnership between Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions approaches, the Coalition calls on Kaiser to address the healthcare worker staffing crisis and treat it as the patient care emergency that it is.

“Through our historic Partnership, we transformed Kaiser Permanente into the leading healthcare system in the country. We must return to that commitment and use those tools to accelerate hiring and retain our dedicated frontline workers and stop the degradation of the patient care experience.” -Caroline Lucas, Executive Director, Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions

The Coalition includes 85,000 frontline healthcare workers throughout California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Washington State. The Coalition and Kaiser Permanente founded the Labor Management Partnership (LMP) in 1996 as a new approach to labor relations by developing a joint strategy to lead organizational change, creating an environment of continuous learning and improvement, and involving the workforce in decision-making. It is the largest, longest-running, and most comprehensive of such partnerships in the United States.

The Coalition Unions jointly negotiate a National Agreement, which expires in September 2023.

The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions’ mission is to advocate for the highest quality patient care and good union jobs for local communities.

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