Thousands of registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics throughout Northern California will walk off the job Tuesday to protest retirement benefits, cuts in health-care coverage, and inadequate staffing of mental-health services, according to the California Nurses Association.
The one-day strike is meant to call attention to the cuts while asserting that “Kaiser has frequently failed to comply with California laws aimed at protecting patients’ timely access to appropriate services,” the union claimed in announcing the strike.
Kaiser officials said hospitals and clinics will remain open during the strike, using replacement nurses to fully staff the facilities. Some drop-in optical sales locations may be affected.
The strike was called by National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents optical and behavioral health employees, and the California Nurses Association is joining in solidarity, Kaiser officials said.
“We will continue to honor the basic tenets of nursing and stand in support of our colleagues, our patients, and communities,” said Zenei Cortez, RN at Kaiser South San Francisco and CNA Co-President, in a released statement.