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HomeHealthGreater than 60,000 Kaiser Permanente staff vote to authorize strike

Greater than 60,000 Kaiser Permanente staff vote to authorize strike

Kaiser Permanente psychological well being staff and supporters march outdoors a Kaiser facility in Sacramento, California, Aug. 15, 2022.

Wealthy Pedroncelli | AP

Greater than 60,000 health-care staff on Thursday voted to authorize a strike towards Kaiser Permanente if an settlement just isn’t reached when their present contract expires Sept. 30.

Members of SEIU-United Healthcare Staff West voted 98% in favor of a strike over complaints that pay has not stored tempo with inflation and understaffing has led to lengthy wait instances and the neglect of sufferers.

The California union’s greater than 57,000 members embody medical assistants, surgical technicians and social staff amongst different health-care professionals.

Some 4,000 health-care staff in Oregon and Washington state voted to authorize strikes towards Kaiser later Thursday. In Colorado, 3,000 staff licensed strikes towards Kaiser final week.

The labor teams are a part of an umbrella group referred to as the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions that represents 85,000 health-care staff in whole. The coalition says the strikes, ought to they happen, could be the biggest by health-care staff in U.S. historical past.

Kaiser Permanente is likely one of the largest nonprofit well being plans within the U.S. with almost 13 million members. It operates 39 hospitals and greater than 600 medical workplaces throughout eight states and Washington, D.C.

The coalition entered contract negotiations with Kaiser Permanente in April. The unions’ final contract was negotiated in 2019 earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the nation’s health-care system to the brink. There’s a last nationwide bargaining session scheduled for Sept. 21-22.

Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Staff West, stated Kaiser has failed to barter in good religion and its proposals would make staffing issues worse.

“Practically 60,000 frontline staff at Kaiser services have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike as a result of we are going to merely not stand by as Kaiser violates the regulation and places sufferers in danger,” Regan stated in an announcement Thursday.

Kaiser Permanente, in an announcement Thursday, referred to as the unions’ claims deceptive and urged workers to withstand any name for an precise strike. Kaiser stated it has a complete plan in place to make sure continued entry to well being care ought to a strike happen.

In late August, Kaiser referred to as the strike threats “disappointing” and stated union claims that it has not acted in good religion are “unfounded and counterproductive.”

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