Breaking News: Kaiser Permanente Employees go on Largest Healthcare Strike in US history

Oct 4, 2023- people holding signs in protest of Kaiser medical care and the low wages of their workers
Oct 4, 2023- people holding signs in protest of Kaiser medical care and the low wages of their workers

Over 75,000 Kaiser Permanente health care workers went on a three-day strike after contract negotiations failed to meet a deal to raise wages and provide additional resources. It is considered to be the biggest healthcare strike in US history.

The SEIU Healthcare Labor Union stated that if a deal is not met with Kaiser, they will start a strike on Wednesday, October 4, for a three day period. As of now, healthcare workers are walking out of hospitals in seven states– California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Employees started marching out with signs at 6am to join the picket lines.

Healthcare workers that include nurses, pharmacists, therapists, etc., are primarily fighting against short-staffing and for higher wages. Not only are nurses being affected, Claudia Penado, a kitchen worker at the Panorama City Kaiser Permanente, reveals that “as I work in the kitchen, we are the lowest paid department.” This causes more to be overworked and have unfair labor practices. Employees plan to return back to work on Saturday, October 7 at 6am.

The union had given a 10-day notice about this strike to Kaiser, but Penado stated that “the Union has been preparing for this strike for months.” Because the SEIU gave a notification in advance, it is up to Kaiser to reschedule appointments and to hire temporary replacements.

However, this will largely affect the patients at these hospitals. Short-staffing makes it harder for doctors and nurses to give their attention to hundreds of patients. With the ongoing strike, it can delay patients’ labs, x-rays, prescriptions, appointments, and more.

There is no official deal made yet by Kaiser and the SEIU-UHW. They are still bargaining and have progressed with agreements as of late Tuesday according to NBC Bay Area. The SEIU hopes to reach an agreement with Kaiser executives regarding the toll of the pandemic and the staffing crisis, fixing the PSP program, and more.

While some laboratories are closed, their hospitals, emergency departments, and pharmacies are still open and may be backed up or rescheduled.

The gallery below highlights the healthcare worker’s rally in Los Angeles County on Wednesday, October 4.

About the Contributors
Haylie Celeste Adame, Editor-in-Chief
Haylie Celeste Adame is Co Editor-In-Chief of the Grizzly Gazette, and is a Senior here at Golden Valley. She is actually a part of Hosea and Truth Be Told Club while being a positive influence to all she meets on campus as much as possible. She is passionate about writing stories while also being a leader, she went from a staff writer to section editor of community news which is something she is glad she can experience and hopes the second year will go great. She loved writing about SCV as a whole while diving deep into the reasons things were happening instead of the first layer of information that could be found.  To her, being a student journalist means going above and beyond to get valuable and true information out to anyone who reads their stories. This matters so much because it is not only a great skill to have but also something fun and collaborative to be on an amazing team. Whole experience from last year to her was a 10/10 for sure. These three years in SCV have been full of new people and experiences while being with her family and two cats. She loves to bake, hang out with friends, and learn anything healthcare related. One interesting thing about her that nobody believes is that she is passionate about singing for her church and could not be in a better place in her life. Her number one supporter is her boyfriend who has been there as nothing but a lovely addition to her life for a year and a half. She is in high hopes that the class of 2024 Grizzly Gazette will be seen anywhere it can and this year’s team will become family and friends by the end of it all!
Alyssa Ramos, Section Editor
Alyssa Ramos is in her senior year at Golden Valley and the Section Editor for the Community News Team. She is a member of the Asian Student Union, the Crafting Club, and Bring Change 2 Mind. She is also part of this year’s yearbook team.  Alyssa is passionate about covering topics around school and the information that GV students want to learn and are genuinely interested in. She is interested in writing about different clubs, classes, and events that go on in the Grizzly community. But, she is also interested in any music topics that go on in the world. Being a part of the student newspaper is important to her because it helps her feel closely tied to what goes on in the school and the community and to meet more people through the newsroom and those parts of the articles.  In her own time, Alyssa likes to cook and bake. She is planning on starting her own business for baking! She is self taught in guitar and ukulele, and loves to sing. She also enjoys embroidering and playing games with friends.