After discussion with the Alliance unions and others, we are pleased to announce that Kaiser agreed today to reinstate the childcare benefit effective August 17 through December 19, 2020 with a benefit of up to $200 per week.
This announcement comes after many weeks of discussion following the expiration of the child care benefit in June. The Alliance proposed that the benefit be restored at the previous $300 rate which was provided April-June 15, when the COVID surge started.
Late yesterday, August 20, KP informed the Alliance of its proposal to reinstate the childcare benefit at a maximum of $150 per week, as Alliance Board member Nate Bernstein reported today at the leadership conference. In response to KP’s $150 proposal yesterday, the Alliance urged KP to increase the benefit. KP responded to our concerns, and this afternoon KP agreed to increase the weekly benefit to $200.
The eligibility remains the same as the original benefit (see below for details).
This benefit once again confirms KP’s place in setting the highest standards for pay and benefits. As the pandemic grinds on, few employers are extending this kind of support to their workforce. Our work in partnership contributes to KP’s success in providing quality care and strong financial performance that in turn supports workers with industry-leading benefits. Childcare grants, along with the extra COVID-related sick leave, are a reflection of the strength of our Alliance unions and our partnership.
Alliance leadership is continuing discussions with KP on other issues related to childcare/school closure: including the need for flexibility around scheduling, voluntary temporary shift/hours changes, and other changes to help employees meet their unprecedented family obligations. We have also proposed that KP modify attendance policies and programs – so that employees are not penalized due to sudden school closures or quarantines. We have urged KP to issue a national directive that regional leadership engage with local unions collaboratively on all of these operational and policy issues.
The COVID+ 80 hours leave which originally expired June 15 was reinstated retroactively following engagement from the Alliance and others. This leave currently expires at the end of September. The Alliance is urging KP to extend this benefit as well.
Eligibility details on childcare benefit: • full time, part time and per diems working at least 20 hours per week) who are required to report to work at a KP facility for their scheduled shifts or directed to care for patients in person at a non-KP facility to secure childcare for school-aged children (and disabled dependent children). Employees working remotely / at home are not eligible. Can be applied for weekly; payments will be issued on the next on cycle payroll. Employees and per diems must provide weekly at attestation that includes hours worked in a facility, caregiver name, phone number, address, and email. KP reserves the right to validate this information. Full-time defined as 32+ hours, school-aged defined as age 14 or younger. Eligible hours are those hours worked in a facility (time off benefits do not count towards calculation). Amount prorated for employees who work less than 32 hours (actual hours / 32). All employees and per diems must work at least 20 hrs in a facility in the week that the Grant is being requested. One grant per household. Eligible caregivers exclude spouse or domestic partner residing in the child’s home. Other relatives are eligible. Program expires Dec 19, 2020. If Public benefit becomes available that is comparable, this program will retire upon the effective date of the Public program, otherwise, program expires on December 19, 2020. Includes all HP/H, SCPMG, and TPMG represented and non-represented employees. Includes any eligible child an employee has as a covered dependent