Reprinted from The Sacramento Bee by Cathie Anderson on July 11, 2019.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers announced Thursday that 4,000 members of the union had soundly rejected Kaiser Permanente’s contract offer, saying the proposal failed to remedy the long wait times for California patients seeking mental health treatment.
Kaiser’s “proposals didn’t offer clinicians meaningful solutions to provide timely, adequate care for patients,” said Clement Papazian, a licensed clinical social worker in Oakland. “We could not support a contract that offered no significant immediate relief for unsustainable caseloads and longer waits than ever for care.”
Negotiators for the union bargaining teams had recommended voting against Kaiser’s offer, and Kaiser’s John Nelson said that will not postpone improvements that the company and the union already had agreed needed immediate rollout. …