Kaiser Permanente to close clinics in Hawaii, consolidate operations during weeklong labor strike

Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente plans to close various clinics in Hawaii and consolidate operations to its larger facilities during a weeklong labor strike by members of United Here! Local 5, according to a Pacific Business News report.

Pacific Business News reported that Kaiser Permanente specifically plans to close 10 clinics on Oahu, Maui and Big Island during the strike, which is set to begin at 12:01 a.m Feb.1. and last through midnight Feb. 7. The affected clinics include: clinics at Hawaii Kai, Kahuku, Kailua, Kapolei Clinic, Nanaikeola and Pearlridge, Kihei Clinic, South Kona and Waimea clinics. The Mapunapuna clinic on Oahu also will close, although its gastroenterology and Mohs surgery center will still be open, according to the report.

Kaiser Permanente told Pacific Business News that it also is making operational changes, such as rescheduling some procedures and non-urgent appointments.

According to the report, this will be United Here! Local 5's first statewide strike in nearly three decades. At issue is "the elimination of pensions for new employees, and proposed wage increases of 2 percent the first year, 1 percent the second year and 1 percent the third year…," the report reads. According to the report, pay increases and no pension changes for current employees was included in Kaiser Permanente's "last, best and final offer."

Kaiser Permanente released a statement concerning the strike, saying that the negotiating tactic "distracts focus and resources away from completing meaningful and productive talks."

"We believe an honest discussion at the bargaining table is the best way to resolve issues and differences. We also question whether union leadership's decision to ask employees to stop patient care during such a severe flu season is the best thing for the community," Kaiser Permanente added. "As the top rated health plan in the state for quality and service, we value our dedicated staff who take wonderful care of our patients every day. We are committed to providing fair and equitable compensation for all our employees and currently lead the market in salary and benefits." 


More articles on workforce and labor management:

UC physicians strike in California

Nurses at Pocono Medical Center could strike

SEIU asks for higher pay for Oregon hospital workers


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