Health care workers rallied at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills on Wednesday, led by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West.
The rally is one of 33 to be held at Kaiser locations in California during May and June, according to a statement issued by SEIU-UHW. Affordable health care for all, quality patient care and strong jobs are the main drivers for rally participants.
“We are determined to get Kaiser back on track as the provider that communities enthusiastically call their own, patients believe offers the best care, and employees are proud to work for,” the union said in a statement, contesting that the nonprofit hospital system often acts like a for-profit corporation in values, community relationships and the treatment of patients and workers.
The vice president of communications for Kaiser, John Nelson, said: “We reiterate our pledge to bargain in good faith and our commitment to reach fair and equitable agreements that provide our employees with excellent, market-competitive benefits and wages.”
The statement continued: “We are disappointed that some union leaders are choosing to make false allegations and pursue an adversarial, destructive approach as part of their bargaining strategy.”
Roughly 55,000 Kaiser employees in California are members of UHW, representing more than half of the union’s 95,000 members. Their contract with the hospital system expires Sept. 30, and representatives on both sides have been bargaining since mid-April.