Nation’s largest health care strike will end with no contract deal

Striking Kaiser Permanente workers hold signs as they march in front of the Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center.

Putting Kaiser Permanente staff and the California-based hospital system neared the top of a three-day walkout Friday — the — and not using a contract deal.

The 2 sides final negotiated noon Wednesday and hadn’t scheduled one other bargaining session till Oct. 12, Kaiser spokesperson Hilary Costa confirmed Friday. They nonetheless remained far aside on wages after these talks, in line with the unions, together with labor negotiators’ demand for a $25 minimal wage for the X-ray technicians, licensed vocational nurses and different staff they signify.

Workers will start returning to work Saturday morning throughout California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington. Just a few hundred Kaiser staff in Washington, D.C., and Virginia staged a one-day walkout Wednesday.

Most Kaiser services are situated in California, the place the nonprofit firm is headquartered and momentum from a summer time crammed with strikes and employee protests has carried over into the autumn. The onslaught of labor motion has unfold nationally, with United Auto Employees placing at American automobile manufacturing firms. The well being care business, specifically, has skilled a wave of employee strife fueled by pandemic burnout and associated staffing crises.

The Kaiser walkout additionally got here as a well being care minimal wage invoice sat on California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. The proposal — a deal hammered out by well being care employers and unions — would assure California well being care staff a $25 minimal wage by 2026. It’s one in every of labor’s prime remaining priorities from the state’s legislative session after the Democratic governor pissed off the motion by vetoing proposals that might have put strict limits on the deployment of autonomous vans and given placing staff entry to unemployment advantages.

The strike was set in movement in mid-September when the unions voted in favor of strolling off the job if an settlement wasn’t reached by Sept. 30. That deadline handed and not using a deal, as staff sought increased staffing ranges together with annual pay will increase over the lifetime of a contract.

Union officers on Wednesday reported that they’d reached tentative agreements on some advantages points however that different sticking factors remained. Costa on Friday declined to touch upon the main points of negotiations.

Hospitals and clinics remained open all through the work freeze as physicians and registered nurses remained on the job, although some providers have been reportedly slowed. The primary staff to return to work will begin shifts at 6 a.m. Saturday.

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