Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center in Kearny Mesa. Courtesy of Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente and the coalition of unions representing its employees reached a tentative agreement Wednesday on a four-year national contract, averting a possible strike.

The agreement covers Kaiser Permanente health care workers in 11 local unions nationwide, including 67,000 workers in California.

“Today 83,000 healthcare workers nationwide reached a historic tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente with big wins to ensure Kaiser is the best place to receive and give care,” said the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West in a tweet.

The company said the agreement provides annual pay increases, limitations on outsourcing, and includes a new program to reduce the national shortage of health care workers.

“We greatly respect and value our employees who deliver on our mission every day,” said Arlene Peasnall, interim chief human resources officer of Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals. “This agreement is a testament to the dedication, compassion and skill those employees bring to work every day and demonstrates that Kaiser Permanente and the coalition have a shared commitment to affordability for our members.”

The agreement follows nearly five months of active bargaining. It will now go to union members for ratification, with voting expected to be completed by the end of October.

Earlier union workers in San Diego had voted to authorize a strike beginning Oct. 14 if no agreement was reached.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.