(KRON) — Health care workers reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente early Friday morning after seven months of contract negotiations, according to statements from the unions and Kaiser.
Kaiser and unions representing 85,000 workers had been back at the bargaining table with the possibility of another strike looming on the horizon.
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and Kaiser released details of the tentative agreement. It includes:
- Raising wages by 21 percent over four years
- Raising health care worker minimum wage to $25 hourly in California and $23 hourly in other states Kaiser operates
- Protective terms around subcontracting and outsourcing
- Initiatives to invest in the workforce and address staffing needs
Health care workers represented by the unions will now need to approve the tentative agreement. The ratification process will begin Oct. 18, according to the parties’ statements.
President Joe Biden applauded the groups for “coming together in good faith” and reaching a tentative agreement. “I’m heartened to see health care workers and their employers take this critical step towards securing the pay, benefits, and working conditions these heroes deserve,” Biden said in a statement Friday.
In social media posts from both the union and Kaiser Permanente, the two parties said they are thankful for the involvement of Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su. “Acting Secretary Su was instrumental in advancing talks and helping to facilitate a successful conclusion to these negotiations,” said Secretary-Treasurer Sarah Levesque of OPEIU Local 2 in a statement.
The workers’ union asked in August for a $25 hourly minimum wage. In addition, workers wanted wage increases of 7 percent each year in the first two years and 6.25 percent each year in the subsequent two years.
Kaiser proposed minimum hourly wages between $21 and $23 depending on the location, according to a statement last week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.