NUHW: Union Members To Hold Series of Strikes at Kaiser Permanente
Two health care labor unions are threatening to hold a series of statewide strikes at Kaiser Permanente, according to an announcement by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
NUHW said it would be joined in the strikes by the California Nurses Association. However, CNA said it has not publicly indicated that it will participate in the strike. Together, the unions represent 21,000 nurses and other health care workers.
Details of Planned Strikes
NUHW officials said they filed notice of the strikes with Kaiser on Wednesday (Rauber , San Francisco Business Times, 9/8). According to NUHW, the strikes aim to protest the health system's plans to reduce workers' health care and retirement benefits (NUHW release, 9/8).
NUHW said its members will participate in one-day, two-day or three-day walkouts at dozens of Kaiser clinics and hospitals across California between Sept. 21 and Sept. 23. Workers expected to participate in the strike include registered nurses, social workers, audiologists, speech pathologists and health educators.
According to NUHW, CNA members are expected to support the walkouts by holding a 24-hour sympathy strike on Sept. 22.
Chuck Idelson, CNA spokesperson, acknowledged that the union is not pleased with Kaiser's recent actions, but said CNA "has no (strike) notification filed with Kaiser as of this time" (Rauber , San Francisco Business Times, 9/8).
Gay Westfall -- senior vice president of human resources for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan -- said that while Kaiser recognizes NUHW's legal right to strike, "we believe the bargaining table is the best place to resolve differences."
Westfall added that any participation by CNA would be "inconsistent with the CNA contract" that took effect Sept. 1 (Rauber , San Francisco Business Times, 9/8).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.