18K Kaiser Nurses To Strike Following Mental Health Worker Walk-Out
More than 18,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses plan to go on strike next week, KCRA reports.
The news comes as Kaiser deals with a separate walk-out this week involving the health system's 2,600 mental health clinicians (KCRA, 1/12).
Background on Mental Health Clinicians' Strike
On Monday, about 2,600 mental health clinicians launched a weeklong protest over alleged inadequate mental health care and stalled contract negotiations with Kaiser.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers alleges that Kaiser violated state requirements by failing to adequately staff its behavioral health division with enough mental health workers to treat an increasing number of patients.
However, John Nelson -- Kaiser's vice president of government relations -- said the health system has actually met the growing demand for mental health care services, noting that Kaiser has hired 25% more mental health workers since 2011.
The strike is taking place at more than 35 Kaiser locations and, as a result, some non-urgent appointments will be canceled (California Healthline, 1/12).
Details of Nurses' Strike
Meanwhile, about 18,000 members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Association are planning a two-day strike over "a growing erosion of patient care standards," the Oakland Tribune reports.
The nurses allege that Kaiser has:
- Prematurely discharged patients who still need hospitalization;
- Reduced hospital services; and
- Restricted admission.
The nurses also are in contract negotiations with the health system.
The strike will take place Jan. 21 through Jan. 22 and will affect all 86 Kaiser facilities across the state (Parr, Oakland Tribune, 1/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.