PORTLAND, Ore., Nov 4 (Reuters) – Union leaders for 3,400 nurses and other medical personnel at Kaiser Permanente in Oregon set a Nov. 15 strike deadline on Thursday, threatening a walkout they stated would idle some 30,000 workers overall unless agreement talks make appropriate development.
The Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals is at chances with Kaiser over the medical networks prepare for a two-tiered wage system featuring a lower pay scale for newly hired workers than their more senior coworkers.
The union states such a system would deepen what the nurses refer to as a staffing crisis in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic.
Reporting by Justin Yau in Portland, Oregon; Editing by Steve Gorman and Gerry Doyle
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Labor leaders cite a survey of Kaiser nurses and other healthcare employees that found 42% were considering leaving the field over understandings of mistreatment.
Kaiser ranks as one of the nations biggest not-for-profit health care networks and managed-care organizations, with nearly 12.5 million plan members and running incomes of nearly $24 billion last quarter.
The health network released a declaration stating it was “still confident that a labor interruption will be prevented through our continued negotiations.”
Kaiser included that its union workforce in “many locations” of the country make earnings 26% to 38% above typical market rates, which the union called incorrect.
The unions rank-and-file voted overwhelmingly on Oct. 11 to license a strike.
” Striking is out last hope, but it is what we need to do so that we can secure our patients, our employees, and our entire public healthcare system,” union president Jodi Barschow, president of the Oregon Federation of Nurses, stated in a declaration announcing the strike due date.
The unions almost 3,400 members in Oregon and southwestern Washington state – registered nurses, nurse practitioners, doctor assistants and lab service technicians – will stroll off the job starting 6 a.m. on Nov. 15 “unless negotiations improve” beforehand, the statement said.
The union said another 32,000 Kaiser workers from affiliated unions would efficiently join the strike by refusing to cross picket lines, which 8,000 more may follow soon later in California, Washington, Hawaii and Colorado.
Kaiser operates 64 facilities in Oregon and southwestern Washington, including 2 healthcare facilities and six urgent-care clinics.
Kaiser and unions representing more than 80,000 health care employees in California and six other states reached a labor contract in September 2019 that avoided a strike.
The current standoff comes amid a year of labor unrest throughout the United States on a variety of fronts, including a United Auto Workers union strike versus tractor producer John Deere.
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