November 1, 2019

Statement on NUHW statewide strike notification

As Kaiser Permanente receives accolades for mental health care, union calls for strike in California.

A statement from John Nelson, vice president of communications, Kaiser Permanente

It is disappointing that, once again, the leadership of the National Union of Healthcare Workers is calling on our mental health therapists to walk away from their patients. This planned strike does not make sense given that we’re offering generous wages and benefits and taking important steps to help address the nation’s crisis in mental health care — hiring hundreds of new therapists, building new treatment facilities, and investing millions to help people enter the mental health care profession.

On Wednesday, October 30, the California Office of the Patient Advocate awarded Kaiser Permanente’s health plans in California the highest possible rating for quality mental health care. This marks the 12th consecutive year that we have stood apart as the only plans to receive OPA’s top ratings and serves as a reflection of the exceptional work being done by our mental health providers and our substantial investments in this area. 

We are also proud that just this Friday, November 1, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions announced they overwhelmingly ratified a national 4-year collective bargaining agreement that covers 84,000 employees. This is one of many agreements recently reached with our 40 union locals, which belong to 16 international unions and represent more than 160,000 Kaiser Permanente employees.

While we hope there will not be an NUHW strike, we have contingency plans in place to ensure that our members continue to receive high-quality care.