Kaiser Permanente Colorado, union ratify agreement to avoid strike

About 2,000 employees of Kaiser Permanente Colorado ratified a new contract Wednesday, ending the threat of a strike.

The four-year contract with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 includes pay raises and maintains other benefits, as well as provisions around staffing and patient safety.

The union had sued Kaiser Permanente in October, alleging that understaffing delayed care for patients. The health system called the lawsuit an aggressive bargaining technique. That lawsuit is ongoing, despite the new agreement.

About 30,000 workers across the system had threatened to go on strike in mid-November if they couldn’t reach an agreement. The sides came up with a tentative bargain days before the strike was scheduled, but each local union had to ratify it.

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