Kaiser strike averted as workers reach agreement

Health

New union agreement set to improve staffing crisis

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals announced Saturday that Kaiser Permanente and some of its employees reached an agreement to narrowly avert a strike, keeping thousands of local health care workers at their post.

About 35,000 workers across multiple states were set to walk off the job on Monday before the agreement was reached.

The agreement grants workers wage increases, racial justice improvements and language to address the staffing crisis, according to a release from OFNHP.

OFNHP said 52,000 Alliance of Healthcare Unions members — including 3,400 local Kaiser employees — came to a consensus with the company following months of negations and rising tensions.

The strike had been authorized by 96% of OFNHP members based in Oregon and Southwest Washington, including RNs and lab professionals, according to the release.

“The pressure our members, including leaders and community, put on Kaiser and the threat of a strike worked and moved Kaiser leadership to do the right thing and settle a proposal that will improve care for the entire community,” said Jodi Barschow, president of the union that represents Oregon and Washington Kaiser workers.

Barschow also works as a registered nurse with Kaiser Sunnyside.

“We look forward to supporting our patients and working with Kaiser to improve care across the country,” Barschow said.

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