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Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser’s Massive Mental Health Care Settlement Sends Strong Message

Kaiser Permanente’s $200 million settlement with the State of California for its repeated failures to provide patients with adequate and timely mental health care was a long while coming. The deficiencies themselves? Kaiser’s own employees say they’ve been hiding in plain sight. “Years and years of banging our heads against the wall have finally paid off,” said Ilana Marcucci-Morris, a therapist at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center. “This has the potential to make Kaiser a leader in mental health care, rather than a serial violator of mental health care laws.” The settlement, announced late Thursday by the state’s Department of Managed Health Care, includes a $50 million fine.

On The Picket Line

Registered nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, have taken action against corporate greed and exploitation as well as union-busting tactics. Their strike is into its third month. The 1,700 nurses, represented by United Steelworkers Local 4-200, are demanding safe staffing. Research has proven that adequate nurse to patient ratios save lives. The pandemic was the match that lit the fire around safe staffing. Nurses were pushed to the brink and were no longer willing to put their patients’ lives and their own well-being and professional licenses at risk. Since the strike, RWJU bosses have shown that they undervalue their nurses by suspending health benefits and limiting picket lines at hospital entrances.

Kaiser Permanente Workers In D.C. And Virginia Go On Strike

Thousands of Kaiser Permanente workers across the United States began a strike against contract negotiations that strikers say are not being done “in good faith” and fail to adequately address the “unsafe staffing levels” within the major medical organization. The contracts for several thousand Kaiser Permanente workers expired Sunday evening, including contracts for about 400 pharmacists and optometrists out of Virginia and Washington, D.C., kicking off the nationwide strike of Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers and technicians, according to a written statement from The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.

Kaiser Permanente Workers Begin Largest Healthcare Strike In US History

The largest health care strike in U.S. history has begun, as more than 75,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente walked off the job this morning. The scheduled three-day labor stoppage comes after Kaiser failed to meet the demands of workers, continuing to prioritize their profits over patient care. The striking coalition includes eight unions representing health care workers from a variety of job descriptions and covers Kaiser facilities in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington City. This represents about 40% of all Kaiser Permanente staff, according to spokeswoman Renee Saldana of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare (SEIU-UHW)—the largest union in the coalition.

Biggest Health Worker Strike In United States History Begins

On October 4, 75,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente facilities in several US states are set to go on strike for three days following the breakdown of contract negotiations last week. A coalition of several unions representing health workers in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Washington, DC is battling the nonprofit health giant for safe staffing levels, cost of living pay increases, and against a two-tier pay system that Kaiser is trying to introduce. The largest union in the coalition is Service Employees International Union (SEIU)-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) with 57,443 members, but the coalition also includes Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 30, SEIU Local 49, OPEIU Local 2 and others.

Kaiser Permanente Contract Expires: 75,000 Workers To Go On Strike

A coalition of eight unions representing 75,000 employees of Kaiser Permanente said late Saturday that is has not reached an agreement with the company, setting the stage for the largest healthcare strike in US history on Wednesday. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which has workers at hundreds of hospitals and medical offices in California, Oregon, Colorado, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C., said in a statement that it remains far apart with the company on important issues but still has had “good discussions with Kaiser.” The healthcare workers are seeking across-the-board pay raises and improvements to their pension plans, as well as protections against outsourcing.

Healthcare Workers In Maryland, Virginia And DC Authorize Strike

Some 3,800 union healthcare workers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are threatening to go on strike at the end of this month if the leadership at Kaiser Permanente and the union cannot agree to a new contract addressing staffing shortages and low pay for workers. According to a Monday statement from OPEIU Local 2, which represents 8,000 workers in the region, about 98% of health care workers from the union voted to authorize a strike to protest “unfair labor practices” if no agreement is reached by Sept. 30. The health care workers represented by OPEIU Local 2 union include optometrists, pharmacists, nurses and certified nursing assistants.

Healthcare Workers Picket At 50 Facilities In Fight For New Contracts

Unions representing more than 85,000 healthcare workers have held pickets at 50 facilities across California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado amid new contract negotiations as their current union contracts are set to expire on 30 September. The negotiations at Kaiser Permanente are the third largest set of contract negotiations in the US in 2023, behind the 340,000 workers at UPS who will be voting on a tentative agreement this month that was reached days before planned strike action, and 150,000 autoworkers at Ford, General Motors and Stellantis whose contracts are set to expire on 14 September.

Kaiser Strikers Insist You Should Be Able To Get An Appointment When Needed

Psychologists, social workers, therapists, and chemical dependency counselors are in the ninth week of an open-ended strike at Kaiser Permanente in Northern and Central California. The 2,000 mental health care workers walked out August 15; their contract has been expired since September 2021. They’re members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which split from SEIU in 2010. NUHW says Kaiser has failed to provide the staffing and wages to retain adequate and diverse staff—yielding unsustainable workloads and dangerous understaffing. After a mental health intake visit, even patients in crisis may wait weeks or months for a second appointment. Clinicians also report managers pressure them to prescribe next appointments when an appointment is available, rather than when they think the patient needs it—a practice that’s dangerous for patients and demoralizing for mental health workers.

Kaiser Mental Health Strike Enters Day Three With Picket Line Moving To Maui

The mental health strike at Kaiser moves to Maui today as the open-ended event enters Day 3. Clinicians with the National Union of Healthcare Workers will hold a picket today, Aug. 31, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kaiser Maui Lani Medical Office, located at 55 Maui Lani Parkway in Wailuku. Across the state, Kaiser Permanente mental health care workers, represented by the NUHW union began the strike Monday with picket lines in Honolulu and other locations on Oʻahu. After today’s Maui picket, the strike line will move to the Hawaiʻi Island on Thursday before returning to Oʻahu during the Labor Day weekend. Kaiser’s mental health care workers in California also have been on strike over the same issues since Aug. 15.

Clinicians Strike Against ‘Separate And Unequal’ Mental Health Care

California - Thousands of Northern California Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians, members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), are on strike. Their goal is to compel Kaiser to put an end to the gaping disparity in the care it provides for physical vs. mental health conditions. Patients are forced to wait months before they can start therapy. The union reports that psychologists, therapists, and social workers are quitting in frustration. Kaiser has been fined by state regulators and sued by local prosecutors for its lack of mental health care. It is now facing a new state investigation following a sharp rise in patient complaints last year. Kaiser also has failed to comply with a new state law requiring follow-up mental health therapy appointments be provided within 10 business days.

Kaiser Permanente Therapists To Strike

California - Mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente announced plans Tuesday for an open-ended strike that could lead as many as 2,000 Northern California mental health workers to curtail appointments beginning on Aug. 15. The announcement came in response to frustration with the level of service provided to patients at the nation’s largest nonprofit HMO, which Capital & Main reported on in a recent story. As a result of understaffing, patients who should receive weekly therapy are waiting months to start treatment and as long as two months between appointments in violation of clinical guidelines, according to a statement released by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which represents the workers. (Disclosure: NUHW is a financial supporter of this website.)

Kaiser Clinicians Prepare To Strike

Two thousand northern California Kaiser Permanente mental health practitioners, members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) have voted to strike the giant California health maintenance organization (HMO). The result of the late May balloting was 91% in favor of walking out – the date yet to be determined. The vote follows a three-day strike in Hawaii. In May, Hawaiian psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses and chemical dependency counselors walked picket lines on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island to protest Kaiser’s severe understaffing at clinics and medical facilities. Staffing, patient loads, working conditions, these issues are the same right throughout the Kaiser’s vast system. The wealthy and powerful corporation that self-advertises as non-profit and patient centered cynically refuses to meet minimal staffing requirements (mandated by state regulations and the law) while enforcing working conditions that demoralize clinicians and place mental health patients in danger (often severe, even fatal)– all in the name of the bottom line.

35,000 US Healthcare Workers Avert Strike

Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest healthcare providers and hospital networks in the US, reached a tentative agreement with an alliance of unions just two days before a historic strike. The four-year agreement includes pay raises and measures to address understaffing, while withdrawing a two-tier pay system that would pay new hires up to a third less than current workers. In the next few weeks, workers will vote to ratify it and continue to work as scheduled. Jeanne Narmore, a phlebotomist who’s been working at Kaiser for 25 years, told Monica Cruz, “The past two nights have been really rough, stressful, and sleepless for us. We are very emotional and relieved that a tentative agreement has been reached.” She continued, “We are remaining hopeful that we will be able to ratify the contract in the coming weeks!”ratify it and continue to work as scheduled.

Nurses’ Strike Signals Kaiser’s End As Union Haven

Across corporate America, relations between companies and their labor unions range from chilly to ice-cold. Not at Kaiser Permanente – the California-based healthcare giant. Kaiser has long been seen as having the nation’s best labor-management partnership. Now the partnership finds itself in crisis as 34,000 Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers prepare to strike on Monday, in what would be the largest walkout in this fall’s strike wave.
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