Hospital workers rally to renew contract - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hospital workers rally to renew contract

Joyce Griffin Joyce Griffin
Suzann Filleul Suzann Filleul
Gerald Penaflor Gerald Penaflor

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Kaiser Permanente workers rally to rev up contract talks with the hospital. The current deal for kaiser employees expired in June and was extended through October as negotiations continue. With just weeks left nearly 1,800 workers want action or they fear they might be out of a job.

They've taken their message to the streets before, but this time it was with urgency. Staff claim it's time to speak up so that hospital services and patients don't suffer.

Kaiser Permanente hospitals are where people go to get better. But, it's employees that are ailing. Teamed with the Local 5 Union, their signs and protest have an important purpose.

"Get member's attention, get management's attention and hope that it moves things along a little faster," said Billing Department worker Joyce Griffin.

Workers want job security, better health benefits and a voice in hospital issues, something they claim is missing.

"No discussions or anything, so that's the hang up, it's on their side of the fence," said Griffin.

"They're part of our team part of our family," said Kaiser Regional Nurse Executive Suzann Filleul.

The hospital is hopeful there will be consensus on the contract.

"We value them and we're working really hard with them to get a contract that will meet their needs as well as ours," said Filleul.

Lab assistant Gerald Penaflor says a contract like that is crucial.

"If we're not getting the proper benefits, if we're not being able to make a decent living, how can we provide a good strong service for the community? We can't," said Lab Assistant Gerald Penaflor.

They chant and diligently endure the heat, hoping Kaiser delivers the antidote to cure this complicated negotiation process.

The contract covers hospital and clinic workers across Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. If there's still no deal by November 1st, Kaiser says they hope workers still show up to work. But, that is up to them.

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