Kaiser Permanente Labor Management Partnership Hits 150,000 Members, Celebrates 20th Year

South San Francisco, CA September 29, 2017 Submitted by Joe Fragola, Kaiser Permanente

As membership reaches all-time high, California governor congratulates partnership on two decades of union growth and success


Twenty years ago this fall, Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions formed the innovative Labor Management Partnership — a new way of working that now includes more than 150,000 managers, physicians and union-represented workers across Kaiser Permanente.


To commemorate this event, California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a proclamation congratulating Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions for 20 years of successful partnership and collaboration.


ED – 942 – visual boards – The current Station One UBT at the morning huddle using their visual board. Gilroy medical offices piloted using visual boards in 2013. Starting at Station 1, through test of change, best practices were established and the use rolled out over the next year and spread to the San Jose Medical Center. Photos taken by tracy lee silveria/ lmp, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016 at The Permanente Medical Group Gilroy Medical offices- San Jose Medical Center service area. Releases on file.


“This model has resulted in improved patient outcomes, workplace innovations, process efficiencies, and measurable service and quality enhancements while creating a safer, healthier work environment with opportunities for health care workers to improve their skills and advance their careers,” said Brown, “I commend all of the organizers and participants in this process for making the golden state a better place to live and raise our families.”


The Labor Management Partnership is proof that labor unions aren’t just about making things better for workers, but improving outcomes for everyone. In just the first six months of 2017, partnership teams launched nearly 10,000 self-directed projects to improve Kaiser Permanente’s quality, service and affordability. Departments with strong employee engagement report:


  • 60  percent fewer patient falls with injuries
  • 38 percent fewer workplace injuries
  • 21 percent fewer lost work days
  • 13 percent improvement in patients’ overall hospital satisfaction


In 2016, the partnership also helped Kaiser Permanente to keep costs down, with teams working together to save more than $48 million, on top of $35 million saved in 2015.


More than 74 percent of Kaiser Permanente’s workforce is unionized. By contrast, 6.4 percent of private-sector workers nationwide belong to a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Union representation is supported by a growing number of Americans, an August 2017 Gallup Poll suggests. Sixty one percent of adults surveyed say they approve of labor unions, the highest percentage since the 65 percent approval recorded in 2003.


Working together, Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions will continue to improve health care for members and the community overall. Together, we thank our workers, managers and physicians for their dedication, and appreciate Gov. Brown’s recognition of their accomplishments.


About Labor Management Partnership

Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions developed a joint strategy to lead organizational change, create an environment of continuous learning and improvement, and involve the workforce in decision- making. Jointly led by Kaiser Permanente and the union coalition, the Labor Management Partnership is the largest, longest-running and most comprehensive such partnership in the United States. The LMP has spread workplace innovation and delivered measurable service, quality and operational results for Kaiser Permanente members and patients — all while making it one of the best places to work.

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