Complaint says Kaiser Permanente didn’t bargain in good faith

The federal agency alleges the healthcare provider tied the negotiations to a ban on picketing.

EVERETT — The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint alleging that Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit healthcare provider, “failed and refused to bargain in good faith” with a coalition of unions that represent 85,000 health care workers in seven states, including 3,505 workers in Washington and 258 in Everett.

The complaint also alleges that Kaiser Permanente wrongly tied the collective bargaining “negotiations to a ban on political activity,” including picketing the company.

“The workers who have helped make this company so successful over the years now feel that their concerns are validated,” Dave Regan, president of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, said in a coalition announcement. “No longer can Kaiser Permanente claim it was trying to do right by its employees and patients by holding up bargaining and trying to stop workers from speaking out.”

In reponse, John Nelson, Kaiser’s vice president of communications, called the announcement “misleading and inaccurate.”

The coalition said “the federal government recently indicted healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente for refusing to negotiate a contract.”

Said Nelson, “There has been no indictment and no decision. The NLRB is following its routine process to set an evidentiary hearing, as already announced in December. Please see our existing statement.”

The NLRB has set a hearing to begin March 19 in Oakland, California. Kaiser is based in Oakland.

According to the coalition, Kaiser employees filed a complaint with the NLRB in May 2018 alleging that “the company repeatedly canceled contract negotiations with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which comprises 11 labor unions in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.”

Kaiser acquired Group Health in February 2017.

The healthcare provider operates 34 medical offices and other outpatient facilities in 19 cities in Washington, including Everett. It plans to open a new medical clinic in Smokey Point in early 2020.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods.

More in Herald Business Journal

After long delay, Boeing 777X first flight expected Thursday

The program is a year behind schedule due to a problem with the plane’s General Electric engines.

Boeing doesn’t expect Max to be cleared to fly until summer

That timetable would be five or six months longer than Boeing predicted for the grounded 737 late last year.

Frontier Communications seeks March bankruptcy, sources say

The company reportedly has $356 million of debt payments coming due March 15.

Boeing has reached out to retirees to maintain the 737 Max

Retired workers are on the job in Moses Lake. The deal lets them keep their pension benefits.

Kaiser Permanente buys Everett sites for ‘world-class’ facility

Construction will begin in the fall, tripling the footprint of the health center near Pacific Avenue.

Another unsatisfied Boeing customer: the U.S. Air Force

The service has reminded the new CEO that it’s not happy with Boeing’s aerial-refueling tanker program.

Washington dairies struggle after trade wars and low prices

People are drinking less milk, but “It’s very hard to turn a cow off,” jokes one Stanwood dairyman.

SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test

Nine-minute flight ended with the Dragon crew capsule parachuting safely into the Atlantic.

Make this the year you stop wasting food (and money)

A person could save about $370 annually on average by wasting less food.

Most Read