Kaiser healthcare workers ratify new contract

(Reuters) – Kaiser Permanente’s healthcare workers voted to ratify a new contract between their union and the hospital chain, the union said on Thursday, ending a months-long negotiation that resulted in the largest recorded strike in the U.S. medical sector.

The union of more than 85,000 healthcare workers approved the four-year contract, which is effective from Oct. 1 this year, by a margin of 98.5%, the union said.

The new contract includes across-the-board wage increases totaling 21% over four years, enhanced payout for employees under a performance-sharing plan and commitments to address a staffing crisis, including increased training, education and mass hiring events.

(Reporting by Bhanvi Satija and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Anil D’Silva)