KAISER PERMANENTE: Nurses Plan Yet Another Strike
"Kaiser Permanente nurses have called for another limited strike at Northern California hospitals and clinics," KGO-San Francisco reports (2/11). "Frustrated by the lack of progress in renewed contract talks" with Kaiser Permanente, the California Nurses Association said yesterday that 7,500 Kaiser nurses in Northern California will strike again on February 24. The San Jose Mercury News reports that it would be the nurses' "sixth short-term walkout in 1 1/2 years." The nurses and Kaiser have been holding contract negotiations for five days, but Nancy Casazza, chair of the CNA's negotiating team, said Kaiser had "refused to provide a serious response" to CNA proposals. The Mercury News reports that "[a]mong the issues separating the two sides has been the nurses' demands to play a greater part in patient care decisions and Kaiser's attempts to start a tiered pay scale and freeze wages." Kaiser spokesperson Laura Rhode said that "Kaiser had placed on the table a 'substantive proposal' to improve quality of care and give nurses more involvement" (Foo, 2/11). In addition, KGO-San Francisco reports that the "offer included a pay raise of two percent per year until 2002 for most nurses, as well as performance incentive pay of up to two percent per year" (2/11). After talks ended, "union officials said their bargaining team would still be willing to meet with Kaiser up to the eve of the strike" (Mercury News, 2/11).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.