Fresno · Health

Thousands of Kaiser workers strike, shaking up appointments

Thousands of mental health employees at Kaiser Permanente across northern and central California are on strike on Monday.

About 2,000 health workers with the National Union of Healthcare Workers have agreed to an open-ended strike after negotiations on improving patient care fell through, according to the union.

“Kaiser Permanente has been negotiating with the union for more than a year,” Kaiser said in a statement. “There are two key issues we have been bargaining over: one is wage increases and the other is the union’s demand to increase the time therapists spend on tasks other than seeing patients.”

The union said that during Friday and Saturday’s negotiations, clinicians accepted a wage offer from Kaiser, but rejected a comprehensive settlement proposal, “that included provisions aimed at making Kaiser significantly increase staffing and sharply reduce appointment wait times.”

Hospitals across Sacramento, Fresno and throughout the Bay Area will be impacted. Kaiser said it is proactively reaching out to patients impacted by the strike to help them reschedule.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.