Mass layoff at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii

One of Hawaii’s largest health care providers, Kaiser Permanente, is laying off about 100 of its workers.

They’ve received notices that their positions are being eliminated.

The layoffs are part of the company’s restructuring.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii operates one hospital and 20 clinics on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island.

The workers were given a 45-day notice — some last week, others this week — and the company is trying to help some of them find new jobs.

In all, 101 Kaiser workers will lose their jobs statewide.

They include 66 security guards, 43 of which are full-time, plus 35 others in various positions including 16 patient transporters.  Kaiser is also eliminating 11 positions in the Occupational Health Department.

Some of the workers will get severance — it all depends on their position.

Kaiser emailed KHON this statement on Friday:

“Kaiser Permanente regularly assesses staffing needs to ensure we have the right people, with the right skills, working at the right place to meet the care and service needs of our members, customers, and communities. This sometimes requires us to adjust staffing by creating new positions, restructuring job responsibilities, or sometimes eliminating positions.  Changes currently in process include consolidating some job functions in patient transport and other areas as well as exploring changing the way we staff security at our facilities by considering contracting these services through a professional security firm.  Staffing decisions like these are difficult to make because we value all of our employees and their contributions. We are committed to supporting our employees who may be affected by these changes. We currently have nearly 200 open positions available and have met with staff to explore their options.  We are hopeful that security staff will pursue available opportunities to continue working at KP locations as employees of the new security firm.”  

Kaiser still has not figured out which private security company will get the contract.

Kaiser currently has nearly 200 job openings — for positions including clerical, and food service — and the company is also creating some new positions, which some of the workers could easily transition to.

A company spokeswoman told KHON that their restructuring is not about saving money, and was not prompted by Obamacare, but rather it’s about putting people in the right positions, and making operational improvements.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has about 4400 employees, so the 101 positions being eliminated just represents a small percentage of the entire company.

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