News of the Month — June 2022

NewsJune 28, 2022

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NUHW member Ken Rogers, a psychologist at Kaiser’s South Sacramento/Elk Grove clinic, and Shay Loftus, a psychologist at Fairfield Mental Health and Wellness Center in Solano County, are featured in an LA Progressive story about 2,000 NUHW mental health practitioner members who have voted to strike against Kaiser Permanente. The result of the late May balloting was 91 percent in favor of walking out, with the date yet to be determined.

NUHW is included in a story from PayDayReport about unions advocating for gun control. NUHW President Sal Rosselli says he is ready to stand with others on the issues of gun control and mental healthcare and that it’s important for unions to engage on guns because labor’s most recent membership gains come primarily among women and people of color, who are disproportionately affected by gun violence.

Becker’s Hospital Review notes that U.S. Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa) and Larry Bucshon (R-Ind) introduced a bill to protect healthcare workers from violence. The Safety From Violence for Healthcare Employees Act would criminalize assault or intimidation of hospital employees and provide legal penalties for individuals who knowingly and intentionally do so.

Full-time frontline healthcare workers are assured to receive a $1,000 bonus, while their part-time counterparts will get $750 after California legislators released a budget deal with money set aside for the payments, the Sacramento Bee reported. The state would also match specified facility payments of up to $500 for full-time workers and $750 for part-time employees and the payments would be excluded from state taxes. Governor Newsom, who proposed the bonuses, still must sign the budget package before they become official.

Law360 reports that NUHW scored a victory after a National Labor Relations Board Judge determined that Kaiser unlawfully delayed its response to one of our information requests about mental health services, including the number of patients seen by phone and other data about telehealth visits over video.

The Los Angeles City Council tentatively approved an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage for healthcare workers at privately owned hospitals in the city to $25 per hour, and have it adjusted annually to account for increases in the cost of living, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Some 100 million Americans ― including 41 percent of adults ― have healthcare debt, according to an investigation by KHN and NPR. In the past five years, more than half of U.S. adults report they’ve gone into debt because of medical or dental bills, the poll found. About 1 in 5 with any amount of debt said they don’t expect to ever pay it off, and healthcare debt is nearly twice as common for adults under 30 as for those 65 and above, reports the California Healthline.

Google has agreed to a $118 million settlement in a class-action gender discrimination lawsuit that includes some 15,500 women, according to the International Business Times. The lawsuit emerged after three women accused the company of paying its female employees about $17,000 less than their male counterparts. The settlement covers workers in 236 job titles in California since September 2013.