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    Our Ideas + Our $228.80 = More Money for Kaiser & No PSP for Us
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    Iíll preface my complaint by addressing the ĎJust Be Thankful You Have a Jobí memes; I am thankful but being thankful does not mean that one must always agree with every condition of employment or new employer policy. It doesn't mean I can't also feel disappointed with some of the decisions of my employer.

    Next, for those who thoughtlessly advise 'well if you donít like it, go work somewhere else', my answer is no. Workers in America have the right to join together in labor unions for the purpose of improving their working conditions and (despite disagreements between the leadership of my union and I which may occasionally arise) I am a proud, dues-paying member of OPEIU, Local 30. The purpose of labor unions is for workers to have a voice in their working conditions even if what they believe is sometimes different than what their employer or even their union leadership believes. "Our Diversity Makes Us Strong" ĖRight? ĖOr donít you truly believe that? Now that that each of those issues have been addressed, letís proceed to the main point of this message; Kaiser Permanenteís latest round of money-saving business decisions that come at the expense of its employees.

    The Performance Sharing Payout (PSP) bonus; we were all recently informed that, despite doing our part by earning a significant percentage of the payout, we would not be receiving ANY payout. In August of 2015, the San Francisco Business Times wrote an article titled, "Kaiser Permanente's first-half revenue jumps past $30 billion, profits dip" and Kaiser's Treasurer and Senior Vice President, Tom Meier, explained that the reduction in profit was the result of rising interest rates. So despite a $30 billion dollar revenue jump, Kaiser Permanente management did not meet their target profit for the year 2015 due to rising interest rates. Therefore workers will not see any financial return on any of the significant cost-savings that they helped the company achieve via the Unit Based Teams this year. -Teams that are funded by the Labor Management Partnership program that employees pay $0.11 cents per hour worked into despite the UBT agendas being significantly controlled by management and primarily focused on employer cost-savings. This means that full-time employees PAID ABOUT $228.80 INTO THIS FUND (pro-rated based on hours worked for part-time employees) for the privilege of having management tell them what areas they were to help the company save money. We all saved the company millions of dollars in areas such as sick leave usage and workers compensation claims and other areas. Then, when it came time to share in those savings, Kaiser Permanente kept all the savings to themselves plus the $228.80 of every full-time employee. Even with its $30 Billion in cash reserves, KP has no money to pay us for the bonus that we earned from the millions that we saved the company for our accomplishments, yet it has money to buy an HMO in Washington and it has money to construct a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art hospital in San Diego and provide million-dollar salaries for its executive? -It would seem so, and just check out these recent statistics from the National Union of Healthcare Workers:

  • During 2013, there were 28 executives who each received more than $1 million in compensation. The top five highest paid executives at Kaiser earned nearly $25 million in total during 2013.

  • During 2013, Kaiser's former CEO and chairman, George Halvorson, received $11.7 million in total compensation despite resigning as CEO in July 2013 and chairman in December 2013. Despite retiring from his position as CEO halfway through 2013, Halvorson was paid 2.7% more in 2013 than in 2012.

  • Serving in his current role as CEO and Chairman since July 1, 2013, Bernard Tyson received $4.8 million in total compensation in 2013. Previously, Tyson was Kaiserís President and COO. From 2009 to 2013, Tyson received almost $20 million in compensation.

  • Kaiser's Board of Directors each receive between $185,000 and $231,000 annually for attending six meetings per year.

    Kaiser: Treat Your Employees Like They Make a Difference, and They Will!

    When my coworkers and I were informed that we would not be receiving our PSP bonus despite accomplishing many of our goals, we were assured that 'your union leaders were very upset about this and they are up in Oakland negotiating about this as we speak'. Really? Is this the same KP coalition union leadership that negotiated the deal where we workers can accomplish our 2015 goals and then not be paid for all of that work when itís performance sharing payout time in 2016? Is this the same KP coalition union leadership that is now going to 'negotiate' for a payout after we have already given our employer our work and have no bargaining leverage? -Then, let's just say I won't be holding my breath for any significant payout announcement. Presently, in lieu of our PSP bonus, management has valued all of our 2015 PSP accomplishments at about $215 which they are considering giving to us in the form of a 'special bonus'.

    I'm not claiming that there is no good that comes out of the LMP. Sure, occasionally a new policy or procedure that is actually a benefit to the employees does result from a UBT meeting. But, once these 'victories' are put into perspective and weighed against all the other outcomes which are primarily of benefit to the employer, we should seriously reconsider our union's voluntary participation in the process. We should seriously reconsider whether the LMP is worth committing our resources including our efforts and finances.

    At the risk of sounding like I'm saying 'I told you so', for years I have been saying we should quit the LMP. Perhaps by exiting the LMP we could re-energize our membership who could then take active roles (rather than passive roles) during contract negotiations. Maybe we could finally make serious inroads towards reducing or eliminating the Los Angeles/ San Diego wage disparity that has existed for decades and is in contradiction to regional costs of living. By leaving the LMP we would empower our membership to plot our own course and provide more opportunities for members to be engaged, active participants. Together, we could work up, from our current, 9% member participation rate, towards 90%+. I'm not saying it would be easy. Members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers struggled and worked for years to improve their working conditions and benefits at Kaiser. But they accomplished it with the power of the members, not LMP. Please keep this in mind during our next election of officers -I want to exit the LMP.

    In Solidarity,


    Actions Speak Louder than Words: Support fellow LMP affilated union, UNAC/UHCP, in their petition calling on Kaiser Permanente management to do their part by paying us the PSP that we EARNED!!