OAKLAND, Calif.—Workers at the Kaiser Permanente health-care chain in California have overwhelmingly ratified a four-year contract, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West announced Oct. 16. The union said the deal would give its 57,000 members in the state a 3% raise each year, create a $130 million workforce development program to recruit, train, and place thousands of people in licensed health-care positions, and “protecting middle-class jobs” by banning subcontracting and greatly limiting outsourcing of current positions. “Our new contract recognizes the skill and dedication we bring to our work, and the guaranteed raises and protected benefits give us the peace of mind to focus on caring for our patients,” Jessica Rodriguez, an emergency department technician at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, said in the announcement. “We are also proud to have negotiated an agreement that is focused on the future and making sure patients have access to highly skilled and trained caregivers in the years to come.” Another 26,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. have either already ratified similar contracts or will finish voting by Oct. 19, SEIU-UHW said. Read more


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