KAISER PERMANENTE: NURSES AGREE TO TALK
"Thousands of registered nurses [were] in the second day ofThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
a two-day walkout against 54 Kaiser medical facilities from
Fresno to Sacramento" yesterday,
KGO News reported (1/29). The two-day strike ended at 7 a.m.
today, Knight Ridder/Contra Costa Times reports (Spears, 1/29).
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California Nurses
Association and Kaiser will resume "formal bargaining" next
Wednesday (DeBare, 1/30). The federal mediator assigned to the
dispute, Gary Hattal, said, "Both sides are anxious to resume
bargaining." CNA spokesperson Chuck Idelson said, "We hope we
will have a contract next week so there won't be any more
strikes" (Knight Ridder/Contra Costa Times, 1/29). Assemblyman
Tom Torlakson (D), who attempted late Tuesday night to avert the
strike by bringing the two sides together, said, "One thing
that's a step forward is that the president of Kaiser's
California division and the head of its doctors group have gotten
involved." The Chronicle notes "that a settlement won't be easy"
as Kaiser and its nurses "remain far apart on two very different
sets of issues -- wages and benefits, and how much say nurses
should have in setting staffing levels and quality-of-care
"Both sides in the Kaiser Permanente labor dispute stepped
up their campaign for public sympathy Thursday, as the nurses'
two-day strike appeared to be winding down with none of the
serious disruption that some had feared," reports the San Jose
Mercury News. "[W]hether the strike had moved the nurses' union
and Kaiser management any closer to a resolution is unclear,"
according to the Mercury News. "The tempers of the two groups
are so high. And I think the public is probably rightfully
frustrated with both the nurses' union and Kaiser management,"
said Policy Institute of California economist Joanne Spetz. "I'm
sure everybody wishes that both parties would get to the
bargaining table and get to the issues," she continued
(Bailey/Gathright, 1/30). The Chronicle reports that "CNA's
members have authorized their leadership to call similar brief
strikes in February, March and April." However, CNA Executive
Director Rose Ann DeMoro said, "If negotiations are going well, I
can't imagine we'd go out on strike" (1/30).