75,000 Healthcare Workers Set to Go on Strike – Biggest Healthcare Strike In U.S. History

More than 75,000 healthcare workers may go on strike if negotiators fail to reach an agreement with their contract, which expires on Saturday night at midnight. The strike would affect Kaiser Permanente in five states and Washington D.C.

The healthcare workers include nurses, lab technicians, orderlies, therapists and pharmacists. They are planning to walk off the job for three days in October. This would be the biggest health care strike in U.S. history and will involve 40 percent of Kaiser’s workforce.

There have been disagreements over pay and staffing issues. There have also been issues of worker burnout with staff shortages and concern over giving the patients adequate care.

Healthcare workers are asking for wage increases among other demands.

CBS reported:

More than 75,000 health care workers could go on strike within days if negotiators fail to reach agreement on a contract that expires Saturday at midnight. If it occurs, the strike would impact Kaiser Permanente facilities in five states and Washington, D.C.

Without a deal, Kaiser Permanente workers including nurses, lab technicians, orderlies, pharmacists and therapists are ready to walk off the job for three days from October 4 to 7. The action would impact hospitals, clinics and medical offices in California, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia and Washington as well as Washington, D.C., according to the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.

Such a walkout would represent the biggest health care strike in U.S. history, the coalition, which is negotiating on behalf of about 40% of Kaiser’s workforce, said in giving notice last week.

The health care workers are on the verge of striking after disagreements about pay and staffing, with some employees telling CBS MoneyWatch that more employees are needed at their facilities to provide adequate care to patients and avoid worker burnout. The disagreements have persisted after months of contract talks between the Oakland-based health care giant and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.

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Healthcare workers can be seen holding up signs saying “Patient Care is in crisis.”


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