For immediate release
November 8, 2010
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.
Joyce Griffin, a patient accounting representative said, "We trusted the leadership of our Union in helping us to navigate through this new kind of a campaign. And in the end we knew our community was fighting with us, our comprehensive campaign was all about fighting for good quality patient care our community deserves and this agreement just goes to show that working people in this community are not going to let mainland companies continue to use the economy as an excuse to leave workers behind as they continue to prosper."
For more information visit www.Local5Deliver.org
UNITE HERE Local 5 is the Hawaii-based branch of the UNITE HERE union, which represents over 265,000 North American members. Local 5 has represented union workers at Kaiser Permanente since Kaiser’s start in Hawaii in 1959.