Almost 400 local Kaiser Permanente workers could strike in fall

Unionized workers for Kaiser Permanente could strike in Northern Colorado this fall if they cannot reach a new deal with the national healthcare provider.

Leaders for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 in Denver said their 3,500 workers in Colorado could strike alongside a total of 85,000 Kaiser Permanente workers from other unions across the country starting in October if they don’t get higher pay increases, smaller staff-to-patient ratios and other concessions.

Kaiser, which is based in Oakland, California, is affiliated with more than 20 health providers across Northern Colorado, the Boulder Valley and the Denver metro area. However, a total of 396 workers at company-owned offices in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, Brighton, Longmont, Lafayette and Boulder are eligible to strike.

SEIU Local 105 spokesman David Fernandez said local negotiations between Kaiser and the union ended July 11 without an agreement, and the two groups don’t have another bargaining round scheduled yet. Union members picketed outside of two Kaiser offices in Denver during the negotiations.

The national coalition of unions are mainly bargaining for pay raises and other economic benefits, he said, and SEIU Local 105 is looking for workplace and staffing improvements at local offices.

The current agreement between Kaiser and SEIU Local 105 expires Sept. 30. If a new agreement isn’t reached by September, the union members could schedule a vote authorizing a strike to begin Oct. 1.

“Workers are going out to their workplaces and assessing and talking to their coworkers and seeing what kind of support there is to go on strike,” he said.

In a statement, David Dabney, senior vice president, National Labor Relations and Office of Labor Management Partnership at Kaiser Permanente, said the healthcare group and union agreed to continue talks at the end of the last round of talks.

“Throughout our conversations there has been a great deal of common ground around several major issues, including workforce planning, revitalizing employee and manager training and education, improving performance outcomes, strengthening issue resolution and problem-solving processes, eliminating workplace injuries and collaborative work to forecast the care needs of our patients in the future,” he said.

Unionized workers for Kaiser Permanente could strike in Northern Colorado this fall if they cannot reach a new deal with the national healthcare provider.

Leaders for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 in Denver said their 3,500 workers in Colorado could strike alongside a total of 85,000 Kaiser Permanente workers from other unions across the country starting in October if they don’t get higher pay increases, smaller staff-to-patient ratios and other concessions.

Kaiser, which is based in Oakland, California, is affiliated with more than 20 health providers across Northern Colorado, the Boulder Valley and the Denver metro area. However, a total of 396 workers at company-owned offices in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, Brighton, Longmont, Lafayette and Boulder are eligible to strike.

SEIU Local 105 spokesman David Fernandez said local negotiations between Kaiser and the union ended July 11 without an agreement, and the two groups don’t have another bargaining round scheduled yet. Union members picketed outside of two Kaiser offices in Denver during the negotiations.

The national coalition of unions are mainly bargaining for pay raises and other economic benefits, he said, and SEIU Local 105 is looking for workplace and staffing improvements at local offices.

The current agreement between Kaiser and SEIU Local 105 expires Sept. 30. If a new agreement isn’t reached by September, the union members could schedule a vote authorizing a strike to begin Oct. 1.

“Workers are going out to their workplaces and assessing and talking to their coworkers and seeing what kind of support there is to go on…