Protests scheduled at 32 Kaiser Permanente hospitals

Healthcare workers are set to protest beginning next week at 32 hospitals owned by Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, according to the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West.

SEIU-UHW, which represents more than 55,000 California Kaiser Permanente employees, said in a statement the healthcare workers are protesting what they deem as plans to diminish patient care. The union claims Kaiser Permanente is seeking a 20 percent pay cut for thousands of employees in Fresno, Stockton, Modesto, Manteca and Tracy, and a 10 percent pay cut for workers in Sacramento, Davis and Roseville. It also contends the healthcare giant plans to outsource nearly 300 pharmacy warehouse jobs in Oakland, Livermore and Downey, and move hundreds of jobs at Los Angeles call centers to other areas of California.

In a statement to Becker's Hospital Review, Kaiser Permanente Vice President of Communications John Nelson said the union has "launch[ed] loud, false criticism and wage misleading attacks."

"That may be their approach now, but it’s certainly not supported by the facts," the statement reads. "For 20 years, we have enjoyed a historically productive labor management partnership that has resulted in improved quality and efficiency, better working relationships, and cemented Kaiser Permanente as a great place to work, and to receive care. We will continue to stay focused on the important work of delivering affordable, high-quality care to our members, and improving the health of the communities we serve."

The protests are scheduled between Feb. 14 and March 9. Union officials expect thousands of healthcare employees to participate.

 

 

 

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