Honolulu – UNITE HERE Local 5, the union that represents nearly 1,800 health care workers – employed by Kaiser Permanente at 21 facilities on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island – announced today that it has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with Kaiser Permanente – Hawaii.
The new three-year agreement will expire on June 30, 2012. Local 5 members will be voting to ratify the agreement through the end of this week.
"We began this campaign 16 months ago and it was tough and scary at times, but what made it work was our comprehensive campaign. We did things as a union that we thought we never could do. We never knew if our limited durations strikes, our public leafleting, or our fighting of issues related to asbestos and subcontracting was going to get this done; but we knew we could count on each other as a union and we knew we had the community and politicians fighting with us," said Cindy Aban, a medical assistant at Kaiser’s Honolulu Clinic.
The new 3-year contract reached between Local 5 and Kaiser includes stronger sub-contracting language, the creation of a labor/management committee that will seek to resolve problems within departments, and maintains current health care benefits and free retiree medical.