A settlement has been reached between the Oakland-based health care provider Kaiser Permanente and a coalition of unions representing more than 80,000 Kaiser workers, the union and company both announced Wednesday.
If ratified by workers in the 11-union coalition, the four-year agreement would ward off a nationwide strike that had been set for Oct. 14.
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions said the agreement includes 3% raises in each of the four years for workers in California, Oregon and southern Washington.
Workers in Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and the rest of the state of Washington will receive a 3% raise the first year and 2% plus a 1% lump sum the following three years, with an opportunity to turn the lump sums into regular raises if the company hits specified financial benchmarks, according to the coalition.
The agreement also includes a workforce development program to provide educational opportunities for workers, funded with $130 million from Kaiser, the coalition said.
The two sides agreed to a list of jobs that cannot be outsourced or subcontracted for the four years of the deal, and preserved the existing retirement benefits, with some expansion of them in Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
The agreement comes after nearly five months of active bargaining, and voting by members of the various unions is expected to be completed by the end of October, according to Kaiser.
"Reaching an agreement was not easy, it had lots of twists and turns, but in the end we accomplished what we set out to do -- reach an agreement that is good for patients, workers and our communities," said Georgette Bradford, a union member and ultrasound technologist at Kaiser in Sacramento.
Arlene Peasnall, interim chief human resources officer for Kaiser, called the agreement "a testament to the dedication, compassion and skill those employees bring to work every day and demonstrates that Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition have a shared commitment to affordability for our members."