The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions announced this week that workers resoundingly voted to authorize the largest healthcare strike in the history of the country. The coalition represents more than 85,000 healthcare workers nationally, including 3,000 right here in Colorado, who are fighting for investment in patient care, safe staffing, protections at the workplace, and better wages.
The majority of Kaiser workers from across Colorado took part in strike authorization voting, and more than 99% of them voted YES!
This is not an easy decision, but the results are clear: healthcare workers have had ENOUGH! They’ve had enough of low wages, short staffing, and standing by as their patients and their communities feel the impact of KP’s underinvestment. They have had enough of Kaiser’s unfair labor practices throughout national bargaining.
KP workers are ready to strike, if necessary, for livable wages, better staffing, and quality patient care. For their families, their patients, and their community.
“It’s heartbreaking to see our patients suffer from long wait times for the care they need, all because Kaiser won’t put patient and worker safety first. We will have no choice but to vote to strike if Kaiser won’t let us give patients the quality care they deserve,” said Paula Coleman, a clinical laboratory assistant at Kaiser Permanente in Englewood, CO.
What happens now?
The contract expires on September 30th, so any possible strike would not take place before this date. Until then, the bargaining team will continue to show up, ready to bargain a strong contract for healthcare workers.
A strike is completely avoidable, but Kaiser’s inability to bargain has pushed workers to the brink.
It’s time to settle this contract!