SEIU Security Officers Who Protect Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Nationwide Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify First-ever Union Contract
Historic national agreement includes wage increases and improved healthcare, paid sick days and holidays
LOS ANGELES, CA–Security officers with SEIU who protect Kaiser Permanente hospitals nationwide voted overwhelmingly today to ratify their first-ever union contract. The three year contract with private security company Securitas–which is contracted by Kaiser to protect its facilities–includes family healthcare and higher wages for the 2,000 officers that are stationed at Kaiser facilities in California and across the nation. Of the 2,000 nationwide, 1,600 guard facilities in California.
The historic contract–the first national union contract for security officers–will increase hourly wages by at least $.40 per year for all officers. For many officers the increase will be much greater as the contract sets new minimum wages. The lowest paid officers will see increases as high as $1.20 per hour the first year of the contract. The contract also ensures that officers will receive quality healthcare coverage for themselves and their families.
“This is a great victory,” said Dale Brown, an officer who protects the South Sacramento Kaiser Permanente Hospital and is a member of the bargaining committee. “Like any parent, I worry about being able to take care of my children if they get sick. I’m happy that I will be able to depend on quality care at the same Kaiser facilities that I protect every day.”
In February, Kaiser Permanente replaced their previous contractor, Inter-Con, with Securitas, who agreed to recognize the officers’ choice to form a union as part of SEIU. After the officers formed a union, they entered into negotiations for a first contract.
“Winning healthcare and wage increases is not only a momentous victory for security officers at Kaiser, it also demonstrates that when workers come together and form a union they can win a path to the middle class,” said Eddie Iny, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU United Service Workers West. “All parties should be applauded for coming together to reach a fair and just agreement.”
Details of contract
Officers will receive healthcare through a Kaiser plan with no deductible, no cost for hospitalization, and $10 co-pays for doctor visits and prescriptions.
Hourly wage increase of $.40 per year over life of the three year contract–so $1.20 total over the three years. New minimum wage rates are set for all regions, meaning that the officers who are currently paid the lowest salaries will see a higher increase in salary–some will see an increase up to $1.20.
Officers will receive two days per year of paid sick leave, and two days paid bereavement leave. Paid holidays have increased to a total of seven days per year and officers who work on a holiday will receive time and a half pay.
For the first time officers who are stationed at Kaiser will be protected by a grievance procedure that prevents their employer from unfair and arbitrary treatment.
The new contract is the first ever for security officers who protect Kaiser Permanente facilities. The victory by officers at Kaiser also has national significance–it is the first national contract for private security officers.
“Security officers stood together and won the affordable healthcare and wages that everyone needs in order to take care of themselves and their families, said Rev. Eric Lee, President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Los Angeles.
Over the last three years, over 7,000 security officers across California have joined SEIU United Service Workers West and improved their working conditions, wages and health care coverage. In 2008, security officers in Los Angeles won first contracts that are among the best ever for security officers. Total compensation–wages and healthcare–increased by nearly forty percent.
Officers who protect Kaiser Permanente facilities join over 30,000 security officers nationwide who have come together in SEIU to raise standards and improve safety across the industry. SEIU is the largest union of private security officers and the largest and fastest-growing union in North America with over two million members.