Abstract and Keywords
Kaiser Permanente, an integrated health insurer and health care provider, consists of the Kaiser Health Plan, the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and the Permanente Medical Groups. It is the largest health maintenance organization in the United States, operating more than 600 medical offices in various regions and employing approximately 173,000 employees and over 16,000 physicians. The company has 28 local trade unions that form the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, affiliated with many national unions such as affiliates of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win. In May 2012, elected delegates of the unions affiliated with the coalition met to discuss and vote on the latest and newly bargained national collective bargaining agreement that would cover about 100,000 workers at Kaiser. This chapter provides an overview of the labor–management partnership (LMP) at Kaiser from its inception in 1997 to the present. It first provides an overview of Kaiser and the origins of the LMP and its early years. It then looks at the first and second Interest-Based Bargaining negotiations between Kaiser and the unions before concluding with a discussion of the challenges ahead for the partnership.
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