Thousands of Kaiser Permanente Employees Hold One-Day Strike
On Wednesday, as many as 2,500 Kaiser Permanente health workers in Southern California held a one-day strike over proposed changes to their retirement benefits and health coverage, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The employees -- who are represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers -- also expressed concern about inadequate staffing ratios and scheduling issues that hinder patients' access to timely care (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/18).
About 1,100 of the striking workers staged a demonstration outside Kaiser Permanente's Los Angeles Medical Center. About 1,400 other Kaiser workers -- including social workers and psychologists -- also walked off the job on Wednesday (Helfand, "Money & Company," Los Angeles Times, 5/18).
Kaiser has been in contract negotiations with NUHW since April 2010 (Galindo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 5/16).
Mark Costa -- executive director of Kaiser's Los Angeles Medical Center -- said Kaiser's staffing ratios exceed state-mandated standards. He said, "The process for staffing each of our nursing units is done with a very specific discipline each and every shift" ("Money & Company," Los Angeles Times, 5/18).
Jim Anderson, spokesperson for Kaiser, said Kaiser medical centers remained open during the strike and brought in extra staff to ensure quality care. He added that certain nonurgent and routine appointments were rescheduled (Sacramento Business Journal, 5/18).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.