Nearly 500 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Workers Stop Work in Protest

Kaiser medical assistants stand up for better patient care!

Kaiser medical assistants stand up for better patient care!

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii workers organized a one-day work stoppage on November 21, 2013 to protest a variety of initiatives that the state’s largest health care maintenance organization (HMO) is implementing that prevent workers from providing quality care to its patients.

Nearly 500 workers from clinics all over Oahu stopped work to support good patient care. They demand that Kaiser ensures that workers are able to do their jobs properly by issuing fair workloads, providing adequate staffing, hiring more staff to allow workers to take vacations, and respecting workers. Workers in Maui also protested in front of the Wailuku clinic.

“Working with patients and keeping them healthy is my pride and joy. I want to provide nothing but the best care for my patients,” says Cindy Aban, a medical assistant who has worked at Kaiser Permanente Honolulu since 2005, “But Kaiser isn’t hiring enough staff for us to be able to provide the very best, personalized care for our patients.”

Workers are asking patients to stand with them in support of better patient care by demanding that Kaiser take care of its workers so that the workers can care for their patients. Anyone can go online to sign it: unitehere5.org/patientpetition.

For more photos from the stop work and take action (SWATA) day, please visit our Facebook page.

Kaiser should take care of us, so we can take care of you!

Dear Kaiser Permanente Patients,

2013-10-23 10.53.19

We want to provide the best quality care that each patient expects and deserves!

We are your hospital aides. We are your nurses. We are your lab technicians. We assist you at the front desk. We administer your lab tests. We give you the medicines and care you need to feel your best.

We are very proud of the work we do. We want to provide the best quality care that each patient expects and deserves. But we cannot give you the care that you deserve if Kaiser does not care for us. Kaiser should ensure that we are able to do our jobs properly by:

Giving us fair workloads & adequate staffing

We ask Kaiser to decrease the maximum number of patients that each hospital aide sees from 15 to 10, and stop having 1 hospital aide cover both the east and west sides of the hospital. We also ask management to schedule enough workers per shift in the MOA Environmental Services Department.

Allowing us to take vacations

Our MOA Specialties Department only allows 1 worker at a time to take vacation. Many other call centers allow at least 2 workers at a time. Because of the stress of our job, we need time to recuperate.

Respecting us

A manager in one of our labs is degrading and disrespecting her lab assistants. Kaiser should never tolerate workplace disrespect. We demand respect.

We want to give you the very best patient care. Kaiser should take care of their workers so that we take care of you. Mahalo!

–The workers of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii

2013.10.22 Kaiser Patient Flyer

Check out the PDF version of our flyer

 

Waikiki Beach Marriott & Ramada Plaza workers ratify their contracts

Waikiki Beach Marriott workers voted yes on their new contract for a better future

Waikiki Beach Marriott workers voted yes on their new contract for a better future

Last week was full of victories for Local 5 workers. On October 16, Waikiki Beach Marriott workers voted to approve a 5-year contract with a 129-115 vote. Their new contract guarantees increased wages for tipped and nontipped workers, improved successorship and subcontracting language, the ability to decide how much of their money will go toward pension and other benefits, and more.

“We did the right thing by voting yes for our new contract. I believe it will provide us with the biggest raises in years,” says Marriott housekeeper Rosemarie Doles, “Even better than that, we get to stand as one union with our brothers and sisters from Hilton, Hyatt, and the Sheraton properties.”

Workers at the Ramada Plaza celebrate their new contract.

Workers at the Ramada Plaza celebrate their new contract.

On October 18, with a unanimous vote, Ramada Plaza employees ratified an 8-year contract with management after working three years without a contract or wage increases. The contract begins retroactively in December 2010 and will end in December 31, 2018.

Ramada Plaza workers will receive significant wage increases for the next five years and paid union leave for leadership development and training, among other things. 100% of the workers were ready to strike if an agreement were to not have been reached, but the workers’ unity and resilience pushed management to an agreement to avoid a strike.

This is a significant victory for Ramada Plaza’s workers. The new contract ensures that Ramada Plaza will maintain the Waikiki standard that has led to the prosperity of Hawaii’s tourism industry.

Kaiser Update: Pension & Wage Proposals

piggy bank (pink version) Kaiser proposes to keep current employees’ pension plan as is. Beginning January 2015, new employees will have a 403(b) plan instead.

Eliminating pensions hurts working families & our community.

You get to keep your pensions now. But what will happen during contract negotiations 3 years, 5 years, or 10 years from now?

Do you think new employees will fight for your pensions after you sold out theirs?

Don’t let Kaiser split us up! Unity = Power

In March, Kaiser proposed a 1% wage increase with no retroactive pay. They talk like they’re doing you a huge favor. But let’s look at the facts:

  • Kaiser made $2.6 billion in profits in 2012
  • 19 Kaiser executives make over $1 million in compensation per year
  • Kaiser is building clinics and hospitals all over California
  • Kaiser is opening 2 new clinics and renovating one in Hawai‘i, yet there is no increase in staffing in Hawai‘i

Do the math. This doesn’t add up!

Check out our Kaiser Leaflet PDF for a printable version of this.

Modern Honolulu workers ratify first-ever Local 5 contract

Modern Honolulu workers celebrate after the official vote count is announced

Modern Honolulu workers celebrate after the official vote count is announced

Honolulu (September 26, 2013) – With a 101-12 vote, workers at The Modern Honolulu in Waikiki approved their first union contract with UNITE HERE! Local 5.

Effective October 1, 2013, the new contract addresses the need for protecting good, local jobs in an industry that has remained profitable, but where hundreds of jobs have been cut. It includes a successorship provision that secures workers’ jobs if The Modern Honolulu is sold to another company, or changes ownership or management. This is especially important for The Modern Honolulu workers, who have seen two management changes in the two years since it has been open.

The new contract also provides hourly wage increases, two added holidays, improved workload for housekeepers, and increased porterage for bell and valet staff.

“As someone who has worked in the industry for most of my adult life, I can tell you how important it is to have job security and guaranteed benefits,” says David Yamamoto, a bartender at The Modern Honolulu. Yamamoto has been working at the hotel since 2010 when it was still the Waikiki Edition and witnessed first-hand the workers’ struggles through these management changes.

“While this is a great victory for us, the fight isn’t over,” says Audrey Jordan-Gecain, a Modern Honolulu housekeeper, “Many hotel owners are converting hotel rooms into luxury condos and timeshares. This happened at the Ilikai next door. If this happens at the Modern, our contract won’t protect us.”

From 1964 to 2006, what is today known as The Modern Honolulu was known as the Yacht Harbor Tower of the Ilikai Hotel. In 2006, Brian Anderson bought the Ilikai and sold off the Yacht Harbor Tower to eRealty. Yacht Harbor Tower then closed for renovations, putting hundreds of workers out of work, until 2010 when it reopened as the Waikiki Edition. In 2011, its owner M Waikiki LLC (a subsidiary of eRealty) ousted Marriott International, Inc. as the hotel’s management company, hired Modern Management Services LLC, an affiliate of Aqua Hotels & Resorts, to manage the property and renamed the hotel The Modern Honolulu.

The five-year contract covers over 250 Modern Honolulu workers.

Tell Kaiser to support ABA coverage for people with autism!

Kaiser Permenante needs to provide coverage for ABA treatmentsOver 1,900 of our members work at Kaiser Permanente.  Kaiser workers strive to provide good, quality patient care for our community; because of that, we are concerned about some of Kaiser’s recent decisions, including the company’s decision to oppose insurance coverage for certain Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) treatments.

In Hawai‘i’s 2013 legislative session, autism advocates supported a bill which would have helped individuals with autism spectrum disorders get insurance to cover behavioral treatments.  Today, an estimated one in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, and this bill could have gone a long way toward improving the quality of life of many of those children and their families.  Despite an outpouring of testimony in support, the bill was deferred until 2014.  In early hearings, there were only four testifiers that opposed the bill.  We were dismayed and upset to find that Kaiser Permanente was one of them.

Will you join us today in urging Kaiser to do the right thing and make a real commitment to quality patient care? Sign our petition and share it with your friends on Facebook.