Strike set to begin at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center

Members of the California Nurses Association are prepared to begin a one-day strike June 23 at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

The union represents about 1,200 nurses at the hospital, which is part of Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente.

Union members issued a 10-day strike notice earlier in June. The union and hospital have been in negotiations since September, according to a June 22 union news release shared with Becker's. The union said that during negotiations, Kaiser has not addressed members' concerns about patient care and safe staffing.

The union contends nurses are leaving the hospital because they are overworked and that there are not enough ancillary staff to help care for patients or enough supplies in some hospital units. The union also contends that nurses are unable to take meal breaks during a 12-hour shift because of staffing issues.

"Kaiser has not provided us with enough ancillary staff, so it is not uncommon for us to be doing the job of a nurse and the job of a certified nursing assistant or a food service worker or a housekeeper," Violet Galinato, RN, said in the release. "Taking valuable time away from providing care is not fair to our patients."

In a statement shared with Becker's, Kaiser expressed disappointment about the strike and expressed gratitude for employees and their commitment to providing care during the pandemic.

Kaiser also said it "consistently remains a best place to work. We continue to hire employees at a rate that aligns with membership growth and need, and to make significant investments to help increase the number of individuals entering the healthcare profession. This includes tuition assistance for our current employees, fellowships and residencies for future hires, and grants to expand capacity in degree programs."

During the strike, Kaiser said it has contingency plans that include filling expected nurse vacancies with temporary workers as well as "shifting trained and experienced management staff into appropriate support areas as needed." Kaiser said it does not expect the strike to affect procedures and services that are already scheduled.

The strike is set to begin at 7 a.m. Pacific time June 23 and end at 6:59 a.m. June 24. 

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