Healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente and the Service Employees International Union–United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) reached an agreement this week to stop the outsourcing of 63 gardeners whose jobs were set to be eliminated June 7.
The agreement came just hours before a protest, vigil and worker encampment was set to begin outside Kaiser’s headquarters in Oakland. It will allow the 63 gardeners to permanently keep their jobs.
“We have gone from despair to joy, not just for ourselves but for our patients, our families and our communities,” said Phil Osmond, a Kaiser gardener for 23 years in Oakland. “Now we can continue to do the jobs we love without worrying about our futures. We can get back to focusing on creating landscapes that help patients and their families heal.”
The gardeners whose jobs had been threatened work at facilities in 16 Northern California facilities: Antioch; Fremont; Manteca; Modesto; Oakland; Richmond; San Francisco; San Jose; San Leandro; San Rafael; Santa Clara; Santa Rosa; Stockton; Vacaville; Vallejo; and Walnut Creek.
More than 55,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in California are members of SEIU-UHW.