Striking Kaiser Workers Expand Picketing To 14 Locations

December 12, 2018 19:00 pm · 10 comments

Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians in California expanded their picket lines to 14 locations today, the third day of their five-day strike for more staffing and services for mental health services.

The Kaiser employees today are picketing at 10 locations in Northern California, including seven in the Bay Area, and four in Southern California.

The picketing in Oakland on Tuesday drew 500 workers and it included a public forum for community members to speak about the consequences of mental health patients who are denied timely medical treatment appointments.

The National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents psychologists, therapists and social workers, says patients often wait more than a month for an appointment because there is only one full-time mental health clinician for every 3,000 Kaiser members in California.

Kaiser representatives say the union’s stance is not about improving health care for patients, but about seeking higher wages and benefits.

“The union is demanding changes to performance standards that would reduce, not increase, the availability of mental health care for our patients,” said Michelle Gaskill-Hames, chief nurse executive for Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Striking workers say Kaiser pledged to improve appointment wait times three years ago but has failed to do so.

The picketing will continue Thursday and Friday.

TarumaRx December 12, 2018 at 7:29 PM

Nurses are only allowed to strike.

Anon December 12, 2018 at 9:31 PM

Hopefully, they are wearing their seat belts.

SmileWC December 12, 2018 at 7:59 PM

I think the Oakland Public schoolteachers are going on strike soon too.

Always Right December 12, 2018 at 9:07 PM

Outsource it all to India.

Psychiatric counseling and mental health work can be done via Skype from anywhere in the world. No reason to have people go in to an office and lie on a couch. That is so 1950’s.

mtzman December 12, 2018 at 10:24 PM

Hard to believe you’re actually serious …

biggus thinkus December 12, 2018 at 11:01 PM

i’m hoping your comment is in just bad judgement.

WC Resident December 12, 2018 at 11:34 PM

I get all of my counseling needs met by reading Claycord’s Talk About Politics.

AnonZ December 13, 2018 at 4:39 AM

Are you kidding me? “Why should workers care…..” Because they are Doctors and other medical personnel dedicated to helping people!! We should be damn glad they care enough to strike for patients. SHEESH!

AnonZ December 13, 2018 at 4:59 AM

I’ve had Kaiser almost my entire life. I’ve been lucky to have had very good Doctors and not very many issues over the years. The two issues I have had issues with are: 1) getting carpal tunnel/De Quervain’s surgery. I went thru a year of appointments, Steroid shots, etc. Another appointment and the Dr. says “they recommend another Steroid shot” but I can refer you to a hand surgeon if you like. F*ck what “they recommend” (“THEY” being the money managers). YES, I’ll take the hand surgeon! First appt with hand surgeon: sign her up for surgery NOW! Thanks Kaiser, you could have saved both me hundreds in copays and yourself in Dr fees if you had just referred me at the 2nd appointment instead of making me wait a year.

2) Mental health Dept: Over the years, I’ve seen a few therapists at Kaiser. You are lucky if you get an appt every two months AND they seem to always be interns who move on after their stint at Kaiser. So you end up getting moved from Dr. to Dr. When they finally referred me out, because they didn’t have enough staff, I had to fight for months to get the referral. The referral list was sh*t. First Dr. was retiring and wasn’t taking patients; another was on extended leave; another facility wanted my credit card # to book the appt which I refused to do because Kaiser explicitly told me I do not have to provide any type of payment information to the referred facility. They refused to book an appt. I call back to the referral department to ask for more names and report why the ones they gave me aren’t working.

It’s crappy that the doctors hands are tied by the policies set in place by Kaiser. I would like to thank each and every Dr. or medical personnel that are out striking and fighting for patient rights.

Ricardoh December 13, 2018 at 8:59 AM

They are striking because they are too busy and patients have to wait too long for an appointment. Must be real hell with them on strike.

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