Support Striking Kaiser Therapists

Letter to Governor Newsom

Dear NUHW member, please sign your name below to this letter to Governor Newsom. 

Dear Governor Newsom:

Over the past 10 days, we have received incredible support from our community members, elected officials and patients every day on picket lines across Northern California and the Central Valley.

Our strike is growing stronger, but our patients are suffering more than ever because Kaiser Permanente’s plan to maintain services as required by law is so woefully inadequate. Kaiser decided it could replace more than 2,000 striking mental health therapists, psychologists, social workers and chemical dependency counselors with our managers and 50 to 100 travelers.

The upshot has been thousands of appointment cancellations, denials of care to people with suicidal ideation and reports of chaos in the clinics from our colleagues at other unions.

This is a crisis of Kaiser’s own making. We are at a critical juncture. Either the crisis worsens or we take this opportunity to secure an agreement that ends our strike and puts Kaiser on the path to fixing its mental health care system and complying with state mental health law.

Your leadership on expanding access to health care, including mental health care, is unmatched in our state. You understand the issues at stake in these negotiations and you have the trust of both sides to be an honest broker who can secure an agreement that can help transform access to mental health care in our state.

Our patients are suffering, and we will not let them down. This strike is our best chance to compel Kaiser to provide ethical mental health care in compliance with the timely access to care standards that you signed into law. There is a transformative agreement that can emerge from this strike; we ask that you and your administration help both sides to reach that agreement as soon as possible for the sake of Kaiser’s 9.4 million members in California.