Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions have reached a tentative agreement on a national, three-year collective bargaining agreement that covers nearly 48,000 unionized healthcare workers. According to Maui Now reports, he negotiations, which began in May, were among the largest private-sector contract talks in the United States this year.

The contract will cover a range of job classifications including maintenance and service workers. The new agreement, according to reports, includes:

• Across-the-board wage increases, which vary by region and by year.
• Enhanced processes to support the labor management partnership and ensure the engagement of senior leaders.
• A new labor-management trust to fund the partnership with the Alliance.
• A new educational trust to fund job training, pursuit of academic degrees, professional certification and career counseling services for employees represented by an Alliance union.

The tentative agreement goes beyond the traditional contract issues of wages and benefits. It includes provisions to strengthen the labor-management partnership between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance, at the senior leadership level as well as the front-line level, according to a statement by Kaiser Permanente.

This includes 3,600 unit-based teams — jointly led by pairs of managers and union-represented employees — that are tasked with improving the quality, affordability, service and work environment on behalf of Kaiser Permanente members and patients.

The contract will cover 32,100 workers in California; 6,300 in Oregon and Washington; 2,100 in Colorado; 2,200 in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia; 2,800 in Georgia; and 1,900 in Hawaii.