Sources report that SEIU-UHW and the “partnership unions" have secretly inked a deal with Kaiser Permanente to lay off more than 1,000 workers in California.
Tasty's sources provided a copy of an internal email that was sent last week by Kaiser's top executives to managers. The email announces plans for 550 layoffs in Southern California and apparently will be followed by a similar email to announce layoffs in Northern California.
The email -- dated October 23 and authored by Arlene Peasnall (Senior VP of Human Resources) and Judy White (Chief Operating Officer of the Southern California Permanente Medial Group) -- is entitled "Workforce Reduction Announcement and Manager Communication Tools." It gives the following information to Kaiser’s managers (the complete email is posted below):
As you are aware, Kaiser Permanente Southern California has undertaken a series of cost-reduction initiatives... Examples include operational efficiency changes and work approaches to reduce medical center and administrative operating expenses…These reductions will be announced in two stages, with unrepresented employees being informed between October 24 and 26, and represented employees scheduled to be notified within the next few weeks… The estimated total number of affected employees is 550, of which 466 are represented employees and 84 are unrepresented staff.Attached are talking points, FAQs and communications guidelines to help you honestly and accurately discuss our workforce reduction actions and reasons behind them…
Please contact your local Human Resource director or consultant if you have any questions or need additional support.
Sources say that during the summer, SEIU-UHW and the “partnership unions" began secretly discussing the layoffs with Kaiser execs. In addition, they report that SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan voiced no opposition to the job cuts... even though Kaiser has pocketed $7.4 billion in profits and has steadily signed up more and more members in California.
This report is corroborated by an internal email from officials at UNAC, an affiliate of AFSCME that represents many of Kaiser's registered nurses in Southern California. Ken Dietz, the president of UNAC, says that UNAC has been discussing the layoffs with Kaiser since August.
Deitz tells UNAC’s members that he and others opposed Kaiser’s layoffs and offered alternatives to the job cuts… but that Kaiser simply ignored them. Here’s an excerpt from Deitz’s email, which is dated October 26:
To UNAC/UHCP Health Care Professionals:…Kaiser approached the Coalition of KP Unions in August to discuss “affordability” issues. Kaiser’s definition of affordability is different than the dictionary’s. Affordability to them does not mean they are actually losing money; it does not mean they are not making money; it simply means they are not making “enough” money.We held multiple meetings using Interest Based Problem Solving, where we generated a multitude of ideas for ways to save money. From KP’s perspective, the ideas were not enough to “close the gap.”
Here’s the full email from UNAC. The email from Kaiser’s execs is below:
Subject: Important Information from UNAC/UHCP President Ken Deitz