Planned Strike at Kaiser Facilities Canceled by Union

Health Care Workers Start 24 Hour Walkout, Over Proposed Budget Cuts

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - It'll be business as usual tomorrow at Kaiser Permanente heath facilities across the state, with the union representing thousands of workers calling off what had been announced as an open-ended strike.

The National Union of Healthcare Workers had announced plans to strike at Kaiser facilities throughout California beginning Tuesday. But on Sunday, the union cited “progress at the bargaining table” and canceled the job action.

“Kaiser's last offer is better than before our members authorized an open-ended strike last month,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said in a statement. “Kaiser has finally acknowledged to its clinicians that its system is in crisis. That progress is reflected in its latest proposals, which include the framework for a six-month collaborative process to reform Kaiser's system with everything open for discussion, including insourcing the tens of thousands of patients currently forced to find non-Kaiser therapists.”

In a statement issued late Sunday, Kaiser officials hailed the union's decision.

“As we have communicated to our employees and others, we have addressed the key issues raised by labor and management,” according to Kaiser. “We are pleaded that the NUHW strike has been called off. It was the responsible thing to do. We credit this decision to our therapists, who have been providing leadership at the table and representing the voice of our employees in all these discussions.”

NUHW officials said earlier that 4,000 mental-health workers would take part in the job action, reiterating its claim that some Kaiser patients must wait a month or more for appointments. Kaiser countered that the strike was a poorly conceived bargaining tactic, called at a time when progress was being made toward a contract agreement.

Photo: Getty Images

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