O.P.E.I.U. Voice
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Bernard Tyson (1959 - 2019)

Negotiating with KP in 2018/2019

Bernard Tyson SEIU-UHW Statement on Bernard Tyson:

"Our union and Mr. Tyson didn't always see eye to eye. That’s the nature of relationships between labor and management. But we did always challenge each other to resolve our differences in ways that honored our shared vision of quality healthcare at Kaiser Permanente. The recent four-year agreement we just reached is testament to this shared commitment to working together."

OPEIU Local 30 Negotiations Who's Saying What:

In response to the inquires I've received regarding 'what's going on with the union' (bargaining with KP), I'm providing information and links to several union sites and union-related sites that may be of interest.

Read More About Bernard Tyson

Read More About the Negotiations

Musical Chairs in the Union Office

Local 30 Executive Board

In case you missed it..

Walter Allen remains the Interim Executive Director of the C.K.P.U., but he has retired as the Executive Director of O.P.E.I.U. Local 30. Maryanne resigned as President and was then appointed Executive Director. Roger Lester was appointed President after leaving his position on the Executive Board. After Cathy Young retired from her position as Vice President, Michael Ramey, who had been a trustee, was appointed V.P. while Jon Larson left his Executive Board position and was appointed to the Trustee position that had been vacated by Michael. Carmen Corral also retired from her position on the Executive Board and Jan Nikodym left her Executive Board position. Manuel Santillan, Ezequiel Diaz, and Margie Chavez were appointed to the E-Board vacancies.

As you may have noticed, the word 'appointed' sure was used here an awful lot. That's because ALL of these decisions were appointments that were made quickly, efficiently and 100% without any regular union member involvement via a nominations/election process; just one more way the 'you' is taken out of the union.

O.P.E.I.U. Local 30 Election Results (2017)

OPEIU Local 30 Election

During the July 2017 General Membership Meeting, nominations were held for our union's offices. Each incumbent either went unchallenged or won re-election via a mail-in-ballot-vote of the general membership. Fewer than 7% of the membership participated in the election (93% chose not to return their mail-in-ballots).

* I was a candidate for one of the positions on the Executive Board and lost (again). Here are my positions on the issues (including the importance of involving and engaging the members, especially in preparation for -and during- contract negotiations with KP).

Kaiser Permanente Management and its LMP Office made this site to tell us how our new contract bargaining is going (2015).

Why have the Members of N.U.H.W. Voted to Strike Against Kaiser Permanente Numerous Times?

Two good reasons (one and two) to not take Kaiser Permanente Managements' Total Health Assessment

Supporting Politicians Who Support You

Why You Should Join the O.P.E.I.U.

How We, the Members, Could Become Involved in Our Union

O.P.E.I.U. Scholarships Now Available

Just One Uninvolved Member's Predictions for Our 2015 Contract at KP

Update (06/09/15) : 2015 Tentative National Agreement Reached (No Local Bargaining To Occur) -Check Out My Earlier Predictions, Below-

As an elected, local bargain committee member in 2010, I was 'sort of' involved with negotiations at that time. I say 'sort of' because ALL the negotiations actually took place at the NATIONAL BARGAINING level where none of us from the LOCAL BARGAINING committee participated. At the conclusion of the National Bargaining, we were provided a brief description of the tentative national agreement that had been reached. Basically the agreement would provide members with the minimal, annual, 3% wage increases, secure continued employer-funded healthcare with low co-pays and maintenance of our pensions and 401k accounts. Aside from a few minor alterations, the National Agreement remained primarily the same. But there was a catch; the agreement called for each local involved in the National Bargaining (those in the Labor Management Partnership [LMP]) to immediately present the offer to their respective memberships -WITH NO LOCAL BARGAINING TO TAKE PLACE-. The only role the elected local bargaining committee was to have was to offer a recommendation on whether the local's membership should vote for or against the tentative National Agreement. If the tentative National Agreement passed, so did an agreement to simply extend our Local Agreement WITH NO BARGAINING ON ANY ISSUE. This meant that NO RANK-AND-FILE UNION MEMBERS IN OUR LOCAL WHO PERFORM THE WORK FOR KAISER PERMANENTE WERE DIRECTLY ELECTED TO SERVE AS BARGAINING AGENTS IN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS DIRECTLY PARTICIPATED IN NEGOTIATING OUR CONTRACTS.

Following a brief discussion, and despite the fact that I cited statistics showing that Kaiser Permanente was making record profits, I capitulated to my fellow elected local bargaining committee members that we should offer our recommendation that the offer be ratified by the membership.

One of the primary reasons for my reluctant capitulation was low membership participation; if the tentative National Agreement was voted down by the membership and our local union bargaining committee was subsequently unable to secure an improved offer which could lead to a strike vote and the membership had voted to strike...would most members even know about it? The fact is that contract ratification votes are chronically sparsely attended. Our local union represents over 4,000 employees at Kaiser Permanente and, of those 4,000+ employees, just 400 participated by voting in 2010. Our union, like all the unions involved in the LMP, did not do enough to combat member apathy and get members involved throughout the contract negotiations process. And, practically speaking, by this time in the process, it was too late to do anything about it.

Ratification of the tentative National Agreement meant that important areas of our local contract would not be addressed.

the wage disparity between KP workers in San Diego and KP workers in Los Angeles would continue to grow. Despite statistics that prove the cost of living in San Diego is actually MORE than the cost of living in Los Angeles, San Diego workers are paid LESS and they perform the same work.

the 'varied, varied and varied' scheduling practices would continue unabated. Look at the way jobs are currently posted now; most are posted as "varied hours" (some are so outlandish as to require availability of workers from "7:00am through 6:59am" [that's specifying that workers may be scheduled 24 hours per day]), "varied days" (some specify workers must be available "Mon-Sun"), "varied locations" (workers could be scheduled ANYWHERE). Job postings like these are totally irresponsible towards work/life balance and have become more prevalent over the last several years. Unfortunately many members don't care about this issue..until after it directly effects them..and then it's too late and nothing can be done because the employer is just scheduling them in accordance with the requirements contained in their job posting. 'If you don't like it, transfer into a different department and/or position'; except, oh wait..many of those positions now have those same 'flexibility requirements'.

the '7th day worked' premium pay has been watered down to the point that it is virtually meaningless. Many of us who have been scheduled to work 7, consecutive days have been disappointed to learn that working 7 days consecutively no longer necessarily means that we will receive a premium on that 7th, consecutive day or work. It used to be a deterrent for our employer to schedule us to work 7 days consecutively. It used to support a healthy work/life balance. Now, if we are scheduled to work 7 days consecutively and lose that personal time, we are told that that the 7th consecutive day premium does not apply because the 7 days "were not in the same pay period" or "were not in the same work week". I ask you, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?!

These are some of the reasons that we NEED local bargaining. These issues need to be corrected.

This time around, things haven't changed all that much. But one difference is that, unlike with previous negotiations, out local didn't even hold nominations for local bargaining committee members. Apparently member involvement is even less a priority than it was before. That's scary considering that the strength a union has at the bargaining table directly corresponds to the involvement and participation of it's members.

This year, our involvement seems to consist of our employer leaving surveys in our break rooms that ask us to weigh the important of items such as potential raises against continued employer-paid health benefits; how ridiculous is that!! So, if we rate raises higher on the list than continued employer-paid healthcare, will we receive a 3% raise and a reduction in employer-paid healthcare?! And how insulting that it's our EMPLOYER that is distributing these surveys, not our UNION. I'd love to know the low return rate on these, wouldn't you?

Some of our union stewards received a few stickers that they were requested to hand out to other members at work. This is supposed to show member involvement and solidarity. How many coworkers have you seen wearing these stickers? I can tell you I've seen exactly 0.

Lastly, all the LMP unions that are bargaining nationally have created the web site, www.Bargaining2015.org, which is supposed to involve us in the bargaining process. Great idea!!...except, according to the domain registration information, it's registered and administered by our EMPLOYER, KAISER PERMANENTE, and not any of our UNIONS. So, Kaiser Management is in charge of what information is made available to all the unions' members.

The way bargaining is conducted has changed in ways that realistically place even less emphasis on the importance of direct member involvement than before. This probably won't change because our local union leadership seems not to consider this a problem and the approximate 9% of our membership who participated in our local's election of officers last year re-elected all of these leaders -Not one new leader has been elected in over a decade. The definition of insanity is 'doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results'.

So on to the Tentative 2015 National Agreement predictions of an uninvolved O.P.E.I.U. Local 30 member; I predict:

  • our healthcare co-pay will double -INCORRECT

  • the National Agreement will, again, contain a provision stating that it must be immediately submitted to each local union's membership to be put to a vote with NO LOCAL BARGAINING to be done CORRECT

  • despite KP's record PROFITS in excess of $14 Billion dollars since 2009, employees will be offered yearly pay increases of just 1%-3% which will lag behind inflation (when adjusted for inflation, we will all be earning LESS by the end of the contract than we are earning right now) -MOSTLY INCORRECT (pay raises are 3%, 3%, and 4% in first, second, and third year respectively and the rate of inflation was 0.1% [2015], 1.3% [2016], and 2.1% [2017])

  • the pay disparity between Los Angeles KP workers and San Diego KP workers will continue to GROW -CORRECT

  • nothing will change with the way in which positions are posted ('varied, varied and varied' postings will continue to increase) -CORRECT

  • roughly the same group of people (only about 400 out of over 4,000) will participate in the ratification vote and the tentative agreement will pass with about 375 voting in favor (yes) and 25 voting against (no). -CORRECT

    If issues like these continue to be ignored and more opportunities for us to be directly involved with bargaining the conditions that define our conditions of employment for the next five years aren't re-established, they will continue to get worse. What can we do to try to create change? Join me in voting NO.

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