Labor Management Partnership Hits 150,000 Members, Celebrates 20th Year


Twenty years ago this fall, Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions formed the innovative Labor Management Partnership — a new way of working that now includes more than 150,000 managers, physicians and union-represented workers across Kaiser Permanente.

To commemorate this event, California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a proclamation congratulating Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions for 20 years of successful partnership and collaboration.

“This model has resulted in improved patient outcomes, workplace innovations, process efficiencies, and measurable service and quality enhancements while creating a safer, healthier work environment with opportunities for health care workers to improve their skills and advance their careers,” said Brown, “I commend all of the organizers and participants in this process for making the golden state a better place to live and raise our families.”

The Labor Management Partnership is proof that labor unions aren’t just about making things better for workers, but improving outcomes for everyone. In just the first six months of 2017, partnership teams launched nearly 10,000 self-directed projects to improve Kaiser Permanente’s quality, service and affordability. Departments with strong employee engagement report:

  • 60 percent fewer patient falls with injuries
  • 38 percent fewer workplace injuries
  • 21 percent fewer lost work days
  • 13 percent improvement in patients’ overall hospital satisfaction

In 2016, the partnership also helped Kaiser Permanente to keep costs down, with teams working together to save more than $48 million, on top of $35 million saved in 2015.

More than 74 percent of Kaiser Permanente’s workforce is unionized. By contrast, 6.4 percent of private-sector workers nationwide belong to a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Union representation is supported by a growing number of Americans, an August 2017 Gallup Poll suggests. Sixty-one percent of adults surveyed say they approve of labor unions, the highest percentage since the 65 percent approval recorded in 2003.

Working together, Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions will continue to improve health care for members and the community overall. Together, we thank our workers, managers and physicians for their dedication, and appreciate Gov. Brown’s recognition of their accomplishments.

Click here to see how and why our Labor Management Partnership at Kaiser Permanente came to be.

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