Kaiser’s Mental Health Professionals Strike Across California

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The union representing mental health professionals at Kaiser Permanente facilities in the Southland and across the state plan to hit the picket lines today for a five-day strike amid a continued labor standoff.
  
The walkout by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, representing roughly 4,000 psychologists, therapists, psychiatric nurses, and other healthcare employees had been planned in November but was delayed out of respect following the death of Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson.

Union officials said the walkout could result in the shutdown of more than 100 Kaiser clinics and medical facilities “from San Diego to Sacramento.” NUHW accused Kaiser of forcing clinicians to “accept significantly poorer retirement and health benefits than Kaiser provides to
more than 120,000 other employees in California.”
  
NUHW workers also held a five-day statewide strike last December.
Union leaders claim that mental-health clinics continue to be understaffed and “patients are routinely forced to wait six to eight weeks for therapy appointments and clinicians are so overbooked that they have to work after hours trying to help patients who can’t wait for care.”

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