‘Exhausted and overwhelmed’: 75,000 employees start largest healthcare strike in US | American unions

More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente well being care employees started a three-day strike Wednesday within the largest such demonstration of well being care employees in U.S. historical past.

The employees, represented by the Kaiser Permanente Union Coalition, are at the moment negotiating for brand new union contracts after their present contracts expire on October 1. The employees are demanding huge pay rises and elementary enhancements to what they are saying is extreme staffing shortages in well being care services which have worsened throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The strike affected the operations of personal, nonprofit well being care suppliers in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Unions pointed to Kaiser Permanente’s current earnings of $3 billion within the first half of 2023 and denounced exorbitant salaries for executives.

“Report income ought to imply document contracts that spend money on the employees and sufferers we serve,” he mentioned. Daybreak Martin, medical assistant at Battle Floor, Washington. “Kaiser executives refuse to take heed to front-line well being care employees like me, and are negotiating in dangerous religion the options we have to finish the staffing scarcity disaster at Kaiser.”

In the summertime bargaining session, Kaiser Permanente, the coalition mentioned claimed The nonprofit’s staff “make some huge cash” whereas the CEO earns a wage of $16 million a 12 months.

“Employees of all races and backgrounds are standing as much as Kaiser, saying it is time to cut price in good religion, respect us, shield us, and pay us the dwelling wages we have to thrive,” mentioned Mary Kay Henry, worldwide president of the two million-member Service Staff Worldwide Union (SEIU) that represents many employees. “They demand what is critical for sufferers to get the standard care they want and deserve.”

“They’re exhausted, they’re afraid for his or her sufferers, and they’re fed up. It’s time for Kaiser to behave with the urgency this staffing disaster calls for and are available to a good contract that features long-term options to the disaster like livable wages and advantages.

Kaiser Permanente claimed they had been addressing staffing points that affected the well being care trade as a complete and mentioned they had been paying above market charges.

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