Kaiser Permanente psychological well being staff proceed strike for fifth day

OAKLAND — A whole lot of putting therapists and different psychological well being professionals rallied outdoors the downtown workplaces of Kaiser Permanente on Friday, the fifth day of a strike to demand the well being care supplier enhance its workforce – simply months after the medics and housekeepers held their very own direct motion.

About 2,000 therapists and counselors started picketing Monday in San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento and Fresno and have since been joined by union supporters from throughout Northern California.

The strike left some sufferers with out fast entry to psychological well being sources, as Kaiser officers warned that “some non-emergency appointments could also be rescheduled” and that he “will proceed to prioritize pressing care and emergency”.

The strike is anticipated to proceed into subsequent week and comes because the Bay Space sees an upsurge in strikes by healthcare staff for higher wages, working circumstances and staffing. This 12 months, strikes have dealt a blow to providers at a number of Bay Space hospitals, including nurses at Stanford and Sutter Well being Hospitals and orderlies, orderlies and surgical technicians at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood Metropolis. Kaiser technicians, phlebotomists and housekeepers additionally got here out and staged a strike in November.

The strike at Kaiser was spurred by a failed negotiating session that ended final Saturday with out an settlement between the healthcare supplier and its psychologists, social staff, marriage and household therapists and chemical dependancy counselors in Northern California. . Whereas the union stated it accepted a pay supply from Kaiser final weekend, different points with staffing and dealing circumstances have prevented the 2 sides from reaching a deal.

“We picketed throughout Northern California this week; now we come collectively to demand that Kaiser leaders cease disrespecting the care we offer and treating our sufferers like second class individuals,” stated Santa Rosa therapist Natalie Rogers.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Natalie Rogers, a Santa Rosa-based therapist, speaks to other Kaiser Permanente mental health providers at Kaiser???s headquarters.  19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19: Natalie Rogers, a Santa Rosa-based therapist, speaks to different Kaiser Permanente psychological well being suppliers at Kaiser???s headquarters. 19, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Space Information Group)

In a press release to this information company, Kaiser Permanente spokesman in Northern California, Karl Sonkin, stated the hospital has been working all week to “be certain that we’re in a position to meet the wants of psychological well being of our members”. Sonkin stated that regardless of some cancellations, about half of Kaiser’s sufferers obtain their care from group psychological well being suppliers who will not be concerned within the strike.

Union researchers say 20,000 sufferers might be affected – since every clinician can have six to 10 sufferers a day – whether or not as a result of their appointments have been postponed or as a result of they should search therapy from a brand new provider.

Kaiser contacted all sufferers affected by appointment cancellations and supplied an alternate in-house care supplier or a supplier from the well being system’s contracted group supplier community, Sonkin stated. He stated greater than 30% of Kaiser clinicians “cared for limbs this week, with extra coming again on daily basis,” and added that psychiatrists, scientific managers and different board-certified clinicians stepped in to satisfy with members. sufferers requiring care.

A union spokesperson disputed Kaiser’s declare in regards to the proportion of therapists crossing picket traces and the way shortly sufferers get appointments.

“This strike and this disruption of affected person care would not must occur,” Sonkin stated. “Whereas the NUHW claims to be combating for higher entry to care, its essential demand is that union members spend much less time seeing sufferers. Our sufferers can’t afford a proposal that dramatically reduces the time out there to look after our sufferers and their psychological well being wants. We had been very near an settlement final week; sadly, the union leaders meant to go on strike.

Sonkin stated the well being care supplier inspired the union to “come again to the desk as we stay dedicated to reaching a good and equitable settlement that’s good for our clinicians and our sufferers.”

On Friday, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis joined putting psychological well being staff in Oakland. She launched a press release on Thursday saying she applauded the strikers’ efforts to “make clear the problems plaguing our psychological well being care system and to offer sufferers with the standard care they deserve.”

Click here in case you are unable to view the photographs in your cell machine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.