Los Angeles, August 30 – After two more days of negotiating on August 28 and 29, the Alliance Unions and KP were not able to agree on a comprehensive economic settlement, sending the sides back to the table on September 17.
We are united and ready to do what we have to do to get a wage increase for all our members, protect our benefits, and get our partnership back on track with a realistic and workable plan.
“We are not going backwards!” declared UNAC/UHCP President Denise Duncan to union negotiators on the evening of August 29. “We are strong, and united, and ready for a fight if need be!” she added to loud applause and cheers.
The Alliance organized the biggest rally in the history of the Partnership in July, and we followed up with even more organizing and a petition drive in August. With this active support from thousands of union members, we are more united than ever.
On August 29, the unions gathered in a big room to present management with petition signatures from a large majority of our members. As each union came up to the table with their piles of petitions, we realized we had a problem – there were too many for one person, or even several people, to carry. Finally, we had to call for a cart on wheels that was big enough that management could wheel all the petitions out of the room!
While some incremental progress was made in a few areas, talks still need to address across-the-board wages, active medical benefits, and getting the LMP back on track. By Wednesday night, it was clear that further progress would not be made that night.
Negotiations are expected to resume in Southern California on September 17, at a location still to be determined. We hope to reach a settlement before October 1, but as Duncan said to the cheers of the negotiating team – we are ready for a fight if need be!