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Kaiser health care workers to vote on strike following failed contract negotiations

A contract between Kaiser Permanente and the union expired on Thursday.
A contract between Kaiser Permanente and the union expired on Thursday.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 9:00 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 2, 2021 at 10:37 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After months of failed contract negotiations, nearly 2,000 health care workers at Kaiser Permanente are set to vote on whether to authorize a strike.

The workers, who are members of the Unite Here Local 5 union, said the pandemic has pushed them to a point of exhaustion.

The union said they are frustrated and disappointed with Kaiser’s proposal of a two-tier wage system that offers 1% wage increases to current employees and much lower pay for new hires.

A contract between Kaiser and the union expired on Thursday.

The union said the hospital is ignoring staffing concerns.

“I’ve been at Kaiser Permanente for 24 years and this is the worst instance of short-staffing, which is even more difficult because of the pandemic. We are burnt out and tired,” said Flor Malano, a cardiac monitor technician at Kaiser Moanalua.

In a statement, Kaiser’s senior vice president of human resources, Arlene Peasnall, said the company is committed to working together and believes their differences can be worked out at the bargaining table.

She encouraged employees to not “walk away” from patients who need them.

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