Kaiser Mental Health Strike: Day 2
Tuesday, December 11
Today we staged 10 picket lines throughout California. NUHW members marched in Oakland, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Fresno, Modesto, Los Angeles (Downey Medical Center), San Diego, Ontario, and Santa Ana. We were joined by friends and supporters from the California Nurses Association and other unions, as well as Kaiser mental health patients and their families.
We’ve received more than 300 press hits since December 7, the bulk of them on the first day of the strike. See press coverage here.
And be sure to listen to South Sacramento psychologist and IBHS bargaining team member Ken Rogers take on Kaiser on KQED radio’s Forum program, where he and KQED health reporter April Dembosky spoke with host Michael Krasny.
In Northern California, more than 500 people demonstrated at Oakland Medical Center and listened to former Congressman Patrick Kennedy speak at our noontime rally, along with CNA Co-president Zenia Cortez, RN, and others.
In the afternoon, we held a Mental Health Town Hall at Oakland’s Masonic Center. The event featured a panel of Kaiser patients and their families; NUHW-represented mental health clinicians Kathy Ray; Osun Yu, and Ken Rogers; Patrick Kennedy, a chief sponsor of the Mental Health Parity Act of 2008; and California State Senator Jim Beall (District 15), who earlier this month introduced SB 11, which would require health plans and insurers to comply with state and federal mental health parity laws.
Elsewhere in Northern California, we marched at Santa Rosa Medical Center, where our strike garnered coverage from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, which has done excellent coverage of our fights and mental health in general over the past few years. At Santa Clara Medical Center, the Teamsters who honored our picket line by refusing to make deliveries to Kaiser. At Sacramento Medical Center, our picket received coverage from KCRA and Telemundo. In the Central Valley, we picketed at Fresno Medical Office Building and Modesto Medical Center, where more than 150 CNA-represented nurses joined us.
In Southern California, we saw the same energetic picket lines as yesterday in four locations including San Diego Medical Center, Downey Medical Center, Santa Ana Medical Office Building, and Ontario Medical Center. We continue to hear from different Kaiser patients at our rallies and on the picket lines about the struggles that they face and their appreciation for our fight to improve timely access to mental healthcare. We were joined on the lines by other unions including AFSCME 2076, OCEA, and ILWU. We were also joined by a representative from State Senator Bob Archuleta’s office, Daniel Andalon; representatives from California State Assembly Tom Daly’s office; and Rabbi Steve from CLUE. At our picket line in Santa Ana, retired Kaiser physician Dr. Bill Honigman spoke about how he, too, has seen Kaiser increasingly put profits over patients and how important it is that we continue to push to put the focus back on providing good quality care.
The fight continues tomorrow — check in every evening to see stories and media from around the state.
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