Kaiser Hospitals to Remain Open During Nurse Strike

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Tuesday morning, 18,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses in Northern California will walk off the job.

The two day strike follows three months of negotiations between the nurses union and the hospital.

“We know this is something we’ve needed to do. We would rather not have to do that but if were going to do it were happy to stick together in solidarity and try to get this contract settled,” said Kaiser registered nurse Diane McClure.

The nurses’ union contract has expired. The California Nurses Association has been unsatisfied with negotiations over increased resources and patient care.

Kaiser calls the strike a negotiating tactic.

“We really just need to continue talking,” said Kaiser Sacramento Chief Nursing officer, Clement Miller.

Despite the loss of 3,500 nurses in Sacramento alone during the strike, hospitals will remain staffed and fully functional.

Some adjustments were made.

“We’ve had to reschedule some elective procedures and some non urgent appts will be rescheduled but it’s more important for me to emphasize that our hospital will be running business as usual,” said Miller.

Nurses say the strike is not about Ebola, but preparedness is one of the unions concerns. Especially after kaiser South Sacramento had an Ebola scare this summer.

“We’re definitely not striking over Ebola we had 38 proposals on the table before the Ebola situation really started that’s just another proposal that we have, but it’s all the same thing it’s all related to safe patient care,” said McClure.

Kaiser insists the hospitals are equipped to handle Ebola.

If there is an emergency during this weeks strike, nurses have planned for some of them to cross the picket line.

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