Kaiser Permanente’s response to NUHW’s call for therapists to once again walk out on patients.
Despite the National Union of Healthcare Workers’ (NUHW) decision to strike, it is important our Kaiser Permanente members know that our hospitals and medical offices remain open. Our commitment to patients comes first. We are working hard to deliver the high-quality care and services members and patients need. Anyone in need of urgent mental health or other care will receive the services they require. If necessary, we will call members to reschedule some nonurgent appointments. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this unnecessary strike.
We have been jointly working with an external, neutral mediator to help us reach a collective bargaining agreement with the NUHW. The mediator recently delivered a proposed compromise to both sides that we are seriously considering; however, the union has rejected it and announced plans to strike instead of working through the mediation process.
This is NUHW’s sixth noticed strike within a single year. We believe that NUHW’s repeated call for short strikes is disruptive to patient access, operational care, and service and is frankly irresponsible. Although Kaiser Permanente will make every effort to minimize patient disruption, we are again forced to devote valuable resources needed elsewhere in our organization to instead address the continuity of care and our operations while these employees strike.
A strike does nothing to help our important work to advance care, nor does it help us achieve a mutually beneficial contract. All it does is put our members in the middle of bargaining, which is not fair to them, especially during the holidays when rates of depression can spike and our patients are counting on their caregivers to be there.
Rather than calling for a strike, we ask that NUHW’s leadership continue to engage with the mediator and Kaiser Permanente to resolve these issues.