What is interesting is who filed on whose behalf. Specifically, one of the founders of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, Peter DiCicco, filed a brief in this case on behalf of NUHW. The Coalition itself remained silent on the issue.
Also, Mary Ann Thode, former president of KP-NorCal, also filed a brief in this case on behalf of NUHW. There was no other filing one way or the other from Kaiser.
Optimistic views have a decision in this regard coming down in about two weeks. SEIU is, of course, throwing up logical roadblocks all over the place. At issue is whether or not then-UHW and KaiPerm entered into a three-year or a five-year contract back in 2005. Checking back to page 124 of the UHW contract book, Article XXV states that...
Except as otherwise specifically provided, this Agreement shall be effective as of October 1, 2005, and shall continue in effect through the month, day, and year as specified in the National Agreement, Section 3: Scope of The Agreement, D. Duration, Renewal and Reopening, and shall be automatically renewed from year to year thereafter, unless amended, modified, changed, or terminated.So we go to the National Agreement, and it says...
D. DURATION, RENEWAL AND REOPENINGSEIU is evidently trying to claim that, since there was a "wage reopener" negotiation back in 2008 prior to the initial expiration, that we have in effect a three-year contract and then two separate one-year contracts, neither of which can be breached under the contract bar language.
1. The duration of this Agreement is October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2008. It shall automatically renew itself for an additional two year period (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2010), unless either the Coalition (by its Executive Director) or Kaiser Permanente (by its Vice President for the LMP) gives the other party written Notice of Reopening no later than ninety (90) days and no earlier than one hundred, twenty (120) days prior to October 1, 2008.
However, we look later in that same section above...
a) If this Agreement is reopened pursuant to Paragraphs D.1. and D.2., above, and the parties reach agreement with respect to the Reopener Subjects before October 1, 2008, this Agreement shall automatically renew itself for an additional two-year period, and any and all agreed upon changes with respect to Reopener Subjects shallThe bottom line? The agreement went for three years, and if there was no wage reopener then it would automatically extend for two years. If there was a wage reopener, then it would automatically extend for two years.
be incorporated into this Agreement and the Relevant Local Agreements.
b) If this Agreement is reopened pursuant to Paragraphs D.1. and D.2., above, and no agreement is reached with respect to the Reopener Subjects before October 1, 2008, this Agreement shall automatically renew itself for an additional two-year period on all other existing terms and conditions, provided, however, that the parties may continue to negotiate concerning the Reopener Subjects until such time as agreement is reached on those subjects or negotiations conclude. Any and all changes resulting from such continued negotiations shall be incorporated into this Agreement and the Relevant Local Agreements.
No matter how SEIU tries to slice it, this is a five-year contract, and we're well outside the initial three years. If NLRB plays straight, we're gonna have us an election real soon.
The word (theoretically) should come down later this week, plus or minus any obstructionist tactics from Stern and his shysters.