Bay Area and Northern California Kaiser Mental Health Workers Plan to Strike Monday Morning

More than 2,000 Kaiser Permanente mental health workers in the Bay Area and California’s Central Valley plan to strike Monday, urging providers to increase staffing and reduce wait times for patients seeking appointments doing.

Therapists and clinicians will picket in San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento and Fresno on Monday, and will continue picketing in other Bay Area cities later in the week until an agreement is reached, according to a statement from the National Union of Healthcare Workers. is.

The planned strike comes after negotiating sessions ended Saturday without a deal between health care providers and Northern California-based psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists and chemical addiction counselors. said the union.

Jennifer Browning, a clinical social worker at Kaiser in Roseville, said in a statement released by the union, “I’ve been telling Kaiser executives from the beginning that this is not about the money.” It’s about our professional integrity and ability to provide care that helps our patients recover.”

The strike came amid disagreements between Kaiser and its therapists over waiting times for patients seeking treatment.

The union said this weekend it had agreed to a wage offer from Kaiser, but disagreements remain over how to increase staffing and improve patient care.

Unions claim patients have to wait months before starting a treatment session, and many patients face a one- to two-month wait before a treatment appointment. The union also alleges that health care providers do not adequately check patients who are at risk of suicide and do not admit patients to creative outpatient treatment programs when necessary.

Kaiser Permanente did not immediately respond to the media outlet’s request for comment.

Check back for more as this story unfolds.

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