KAISER NURSES STRIKE: The Nation Looks At Winners And Losers
Journalists Carl Ginsburg and Helen Demeranville take a look at the labor battle between the California Nurses Association and Kaiser Permanente in an editorial in the May 25 issue of The Nation. They say that "[a]fter six bitter strikes and more than a year and a half of management smear tactics, Kaiser Permanente ... threw in the towel," and that the "CNA ... under the dynamic leadership of Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro, won pay increases and stopped permanent two-tier wages." They say "[w]hat made this contract unprecedented was the establishment of a Quality Liaison Program at Kaiser's Bay Area facilities that will set new standards for monitoring patient care and may influence HMO practices everywhere." Under the program, 18 nurses will work part-time to monitor quality of health care provided by the HMO, "including poor care as a result of understaffing." In recent years, Kaiser management cut 1,600 registered nurses in Northern California, according to the authors. Quality Liaison RNs will be free to speak to the public and to regulatory agencies outside the hospital about quality issues. DeMoro said, "This is the first time that the public has an uncompromised voice it can rely on within the hospital" (Ginsburg/Demeranville, The Nation, 5/25 issue).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.