The largest health care strike in US history is in its third and final day.
More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers walked out Wednesday, launching a strike against the nation's largest health care nonprofit. The temporary work stoppage will end at 6 am Pacific Time on Saturday morning.
The picket lines targeting Kaiser hospitals and medical offices in California, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Washington state will rescind. The striking workers — vocational nurses, emergency department technicians, radiology technicians, X-ray technicians, respiratory therapists, medical assistants, pharmacists, among others — will all return to work.
Kaiser Permanente workers strike
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions has scheduled bargaining sessions for the end of next week with Kaiser. The unions said warned they could issue a 10-day notice after Saturday that would begin another round of strikes “if Kaiser executives continue to commit unfair labor practices and bargain in bad faith.”
The unions are demanding better pay and benefits, and that the organization addresses staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kaiser said it has agreed to do “aggressive work” to hire more staff members, noting that it has hired over 10,000 people in union-represented jobs so far this year.
Kaiser has offered wage increases of 5 percent in the next three years, and a 4 percent raise in the third year to all union employees. The coalition is asking for a 6.5 percent increase in the next two years, and a 5.75 percent increase in the two years after. Kaiser has also not agreed to raise minimum pay to $24 per hour for all unionized employees beginning 2024.
Kaiser Permanente operates 39 hospitals and over 600 medical offices across eight states and the District of Columbia. The organization estimates that it serves nearly 13 million patients. The organization reported a profit of $2 billion in the second quarter, generating $25 billion in revenue.
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