Kaiser Permanente is planning to lay off hundreds of workers across the Bay Area and beyond.
In an email to union members on Friday, SEIU-UHW said it had received a 60-day notice Thursday evening about the healthcare giant’s plans to eliminate 231 workers in the Northern California region of the Kaiser union. It said it would alert those affected on Monday, including in the Bay Area.
In a note, the trade union called the move a “attack” on workers, which occurred after months of sacrifice during the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement on Friday, Kaiser accepted the layoffs, saying it was part of a reorganization to reduce duplication in management and support positions primarily.
The union urged its members not to panic, saying it plans to work with Kaiser to train and equip affected people to do comparable jobs. Over the next week, the union said it would meet with Kaiser to try to negotiate alternative layoffs. It is in touch with a worker expected to be released next week.
Georgette Bradford worked for Kaiser in Sacramento as an ultrasound technologist and said Kaiser had often been involved in discussions with the union weeks or months earlier, but this time “blind”;.
“The hard-heartedness of the way Kaiser did this made me feel terrible,” said Bradford, who was not on the let-go list – adding that workers were tired and stressed by the epidemic. Then thought that in the end we will be able to breathe and will be slapped in the face like this “
Bradford said more than a dozen workers at her medical center face layoffs.
Like other healthcare providers, the pandemic has left Kaiser financially impacted by elective surgery and many other types of appointments that will stop in 2020, but the company is still earning. Net $ 6.4 billion and ended the year with an operating margin of 2.5%.
“Even our extraordinary sacrifices during this outbreak did not stop Kaiser to focus on the highest profit,” the union said in a note.
Amid the layoffs, Kaiser said it was continuing to grow.
“We remain one of the largest private employers in California with more than 149,000 employees and 16,000 doctors in the state,” the company said in a statement. 2,300 positions in the state “
Most of the positions assigned to the cut are non-medical positions, Kaiser said, adding: “In any workforce restructuring, we are highly committed and successful in working with employees to identify other positions within Kaiser. Permanente to change that location. And if we are unable to do so, we offer qualified employees benefits that typically include education and training benefits, on-site service, and up to one year of wages and benefits. ”
It was not immediately clear where the workers were affected.
Auckland’s health system serves more than 12 million members.Kaiser is not alone in planning layoffs across the Bay Area, companies, including some in the technology sector, and Target recently revealed the layoffs.
“While these changes represent a very small number of our workforce, we are unable to meet the needs of our clients. But we haven’t done either, and we tend to consider that the support of our valued colleagues will require the consequences of these decisions, ”Kaiser said. Of all our employees who have done an especially admirable performance over the past year and we are committed to providing comprehensive and personalized support. ”
Staff writer Julia Prodis Sulek contributed to this report.