- A coalition of healthcare workers and Kaiser Permanente agreed on Friday to a tentative deal, a week after over 75K staff members took part in the largest-ever strike in the US healthcare industry.1
- The temporary agreement includes a 21% increase in wages over four years and the phasing in of a $25-per-hour minimum wage for coalition workers in California.2
- Though last week's strike lasted 72 hours, the coalition had warned of an eight-day strike in November if a new deal wasn't reached by Oct. 31.3
- Julie Su, the acting Secretary of Labor, reportedly mediated the in-person talks and assisted the two parties in brokering the agreement.4
- However, another strike could still happen if the union's rank-and-file members — expected to vote on Wednesday — reject the deal.5
- Kaiser Permanente, which covers 13M Americans in eight states and had operating revenue of $95.4B, reported an operating loss of $1.3B last year.6
- Narrative A, as provided by The New York Times. Post-COVID, healthcare workers have felt unsafe, unappreciated, and unsupported. They are underpaid, overworked, and exhausted. While the deal with Kaiser Permanente may end the current labor dispute, the changes they want require a significant overhaul of how healthcare is delivered.
- Narrative B, as provided by CNN. While the agreement could set a higher standard for the healthcare industry nationwide, the unions' three-day walkout disrupted appointments and services, forced Kaiser to postpone procedures, and shut down more than 50 labs. Holding patients to ransom is no way to solve labor issues.