Kaiser Permanente mental health professionals represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers began a weeklong statewide strike today to protest what they say is Kaiser’s “chronic failure to provide … quality mental health care.”
According to the union, picketing will take place today around the state, including at the following Southern California locations:
— West Los Angeles Medical Center, 6041 Cadillac Ave., West Los Angeles;
— Anaheim Medical Center, 3440 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim;
— San Diego Medical Center, 4647 Zion Ave., San Diego; and
— Fontana Medical Center, 9961 Sierra Ave., Fontana.
“Kaiser Permanente’s 2,600 California mental health clinicians — psychologists, therapists, and social workers represented by the (NUHW) –will launch a statewide strike (today) to protest Kaiser’s chronic failure to provide its members with timely, quality mental health care,” the union said in a statement.
“Kaiser staff will be on 65 picket lines at more than 35 locations throughout the scheduled weeklong strike,” the union said.
Picketing began this morning, the union said.
John Nelson, Kaiser vice president of government relations, said Kaiser Permanente is committed to finding a solution that benefits our employees, and NUHW must have the same commitment.
“We are committed to continuing to bargain whenever and wherever possible to avoid a strike, and we are urging our employees to resist the call to leave members and their patients for the weeklong strike called by NUHW,” Nelson said. “NUHW has spent the last several years publicly attacking our mental health services, while at the same time resisting important steps we are taking to enhance mental health care for our patients. Although NUHW has been using intimidation and obstructionism to try to achieve its goals, we will not let that stop us from continuing to make progress on addressing the national challenge facing all mental health care providers. We remain fully committed to meeting that challenge.”