If you remember, Kaiser gave us a last, best and final packaged deal on January 16:
- excluded future workers from our pension plan and raised the qualifying hours for current workers to earn a year of pension credit.
- did not include any retroactive pay for us. Instead they wanted us to settle for a one-time $600 bonus.
- wage increase of 2%-1%-1% from date of ratification. That would mean no increase in pay from the expiration date of June 30, 2012 to present. This is the lowest wage increase that Kaiser proposed for any Region.
After speaking with workers, it was not in our best interest to put this “deal” to a vote. We wanted to offer a pension plan that Kaiser would seriously consider: a plan that would help us move closer to settlement.
- current workers keep their pension and future workers go into a Variable Defined Benefit Plan. The Employer asked a lot of questions and seemed interested in this.
- wage increase of 3.5%-3.5%-3.5% for each year beginning July 1, 2012. This would essentially give us the retroactive pay we deserve!
- accepted their proposal on amount that Kaiser would contribute to the medical plan for each employee and retiree to maintain our benefits.
- language that would allow us to either take another day off within 30 days before or after a holiday, or allow us to bank the holiday if we worked the day of the holiday or if the holiday was our normal scheduled day off.
- exclude banked holidays from being counted for maximum vacation accumulation.
- no adjustments in seniority dates for the purpose of defining our bargaining unit, status, classification, department, and location seniority. The contract allows the Employer to deduct any leave of absence longer than 30 days from your seniority date. Kaiser’s record-keeping is inconsistent, therefore we proposed no adjustments. In return we were willing to agree to the Employer’s proposal on the language that defines Continuous Service.
Around 9:45pm, after the Employer reviewed our proposals in caucus, they said that they were not going to be able to respond that evening. We will be setting up a future date to hear the Employer’s response and negotiate from there.
Mililani High students and our children lined up around the room carrying life-size figures of our elected officials and community leaders holding signs that said “Kaiser: Don’t Touch Our Pensions!” Members Maile Duarte-Rego, Donald Yonamine, and one of our youth gave testimony to the Employer on what a pension means to them, their family, and their community.
The students also presented a video they created highlighting a recent action in which they, along with Kaiser workers, leafletted downtown to raise awareness of the low wages that bank tellers earn. They also delegated Edward Pei (Kaiser Permanente Board Member and Executive Director of the Hawaii Bankers Association), telling him that Kaiser shouldn’t touch our pensions!
During one of our caucuses, Jonah Pascual, MA HON and Rene Bacalso, ESD MOA gave a presentation on the importance of participating in AiKea and our Political Program to elect Local 5 member, Joli Tokusato for City Council District 6. To learn more about AiKea, visit aikeahawaii.org. We are also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aikeahawaii).
You can view more photos on our Facebook page.