What is the Keep Thrive Alive campaign?
We are the 80,000+ caregivers of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and we’re calling on Kaiser Permanente to live up to its promise of “thrive” and get back on track as the provider that offers patients excellent care, advocates for communities, and makes workers proud.
Why are you staging protests and taking action against Kaiser Permanente? What is this coalition and campaign all about?
Kaiser has lost its way and we want to get it back on track as a company that works with its employees to provide the best quality care to patients and the good jobs our communities need. Today, Kaiser, a non-profit company, acts more and more like a for-profit corporation.
We are taking action to bring attention to the ways Kaiser has gotten off track, let patients and the public know what’s really happening, and try to convince Kaiser to get back on track and make “thrive” its primary goal once again.
What are some ways that Kaiser has gotten off track?
- Kaiser made more than $5.2 billion in profits during the first half of 2019, bringing its profits to more than $11 billion since January 1, 2017.
- Its reserves are $37.6 billion – which are more than the budgets of the Cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento and Oakland combined.
- Kaiser gave its CEO a $6 million raise to $16 million in 2017. He was paid more than the CEOs at for-profit corporations such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola, UPS, Kohl’s, Ross Stores and Yum! Brands.
- Kaiser pays at least 36 executives $1 million or more a year.
- Kaiser executives have created a culture in which they believe it is perfectly fine to pay themselves millions of dollars at the same time they are trying to eliminate jobs, cut workers’ wages and increase employees’ healthcare costs.
- Meanwhile, Kaiser provides very little care to Medicaid patients (Medicaid provides healthcare for 21% of Americans, but Kaiser’s Medicaid patient volume is less than half that figure — far lower than other non-profit health systems) even though it gets massive tax breaks in exchange for supposedly working in the public interest.
- Kaiser is also actively destroying good jobs by outsourcing them to companies that pay low wages with few benefits and wants to limit the wages and cut the benefits of its frontline healthcare employees.
Are you in contract negotiations now? When does your contract expire?
Our contract negotiations began in April 2019, after being delayed by more than a year because Kaiser refused to sit down with us — another indication that Kaiser has lost its way. Our contract expired September 30, 2018.
We have four main goals in contract negotiations:
- Ensure compassionate care with safe staffing levels and the use of technology that maintains a human touch;
- Negotiate new ways to invest in creating the workforce of the future and stave off a looming shortage of licensed healthcare workers over the next decade;
- Continue creating good jobs with middle-class wages and strong benefits; and
- Re-establish a strong worker-management partnership with Kaiser.
How can I help?
Join our coalition! Use the #KeepThriveAlive hashtag and tag @aboutKP to tell Kaiser why you think it needs to get back on track.