UNITE HERE Joins 126,000-member Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions

UNITE HERE Joins 126,000-member Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions

Local 5 health care workers add strength to Coalition’s efforts to improve care, jobs in Hawaii


HONOLULU—UNITE HERE Local 5 has become the newest member of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, AFL-CIO, a federation of 33 local unions across the country united for the best care and the best jobs at Kaiser Permanente.

Local 5—representing LPNs, ward clerks and other health care workers employed at KP medical centers and offices on the islands—is the first UNITE HERE local to join the Coalition. Supported by Coalition-backed training and advocacy, union members have worked alongside physicians and health plan managers, earning accolades for outstanding patient care and gains in affordability and workplace safety.

The new local brings 1,900 union workers into the Coalition’s fold in Hawaii. OPEIU Local 50/Hawaii Nurses Association joined the Coalition in 2009 with 800 nurses.

“We’re delighted to join the Coalition. We’re confident that this will improve the lives of our union members and our patients who deserve quality patient care,” says Joyce Griffin, who works as a lead patient accounting representative at Kaiser Permanente and serves on the Executive Board of Local 5.

The Coalition unions represent 126,000 Kaiser Permanente workers through locals from some of the nation’s largest international unions—such as American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Local 5 has started the next step: formally becoming a party to the National Agreement and part of the Labor Management Partnership, a 20-year mutual strategy that has provided union workers with:

  • a stronger voice on the job,
  • ways to meet ever-evolving health changes and challenges,
  • the tools they need to deliver the best, most affordable care to the communities that serve KP members and patients, and
  • industry-leading wages and benefits.

About Local 5
Local 5 members in Kaiser Permanente and Hale Nani Rehabilitation & Nursing Center set the highest standard for wages and benefits in Hawaii’s health care industry, benefiting not only union members, but also all local health care workers. http://www.unitehere5.org/

About the Coalition
Since 1997, the Coalition has worked with Kaiser Permanente in the largest and longest-lasting labor management partnership in the United States to help provide affordable, high-quality care and service to KP members while ensuring industry-leading pay, benefits and working conditions for our union members. The Coalition unions have negotiated five industry-leading national contracts using an interest-based approach instead of traditional, position-based bargaining. https://www.unioncoalition.org/