WASHINGTON, D.C. —Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Acting Director Rich Giacolone issued the following statement today on the announcement of a tentative agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions:

“I want to acknowledge Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance of Health Care Unions for this exceptional achievement. These were lengthy and difficult negotiations, and despite the challenges, the parties were able to reach a tentative agreement on extremely complex and comprehensive issues with the potential to benefit thousands of patients and workers across the country.”

The negotiations, which began in May, were the largest private-sector health care negotiations in the United States. The tentative agreement carries special importance as it is the first between Kaiser Permanente and the newly formed Alliance of Health Care Unions. The tentative agreement covers nearly 48,000 Kaiser health care workers, in 22 union locals, located in seven states and the District of Columbia.

“Our goal as neutrals is to help the parties reach agreement, but we always recognize that the credit for that agreement rightfully belongs to the negotiating parties. We are honored to have contributed in some small part,” said Giacolone.

In addition to recognizing the work of the negotiating teams, Giacolone also praised the efforts of FMCS Commissioners Isael Hermosillo, Rachel Lev, Steve Kessler and Jimmy Valentine, along with Regional Director Linda Gonzalez and FMCS Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, who assisted the parties during this extensive process. “Our team put in many long hours throughout these negotiations,” Giacolone said. “We extend our congratulations to the parties and thank Kaiser Permanente and the Alliance for their cooperation.”

In accordance with FMCS practice and consistent with the requirements of mediator confidentiality, FMCS will have no further comment on the details of the agreement or the substance of the negotiations.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, created in 1947, is an independent U.S. government agency whose mission is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 10 district offices and more than 60 field offices, the agency provides mediation and conflict resolution services to industry, government agencies and communities.

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