<![CDATA[Emotional and behavioral health clinicians at the Kaiser Permanente medical campus in Vacaville are expected to walk off the job on Thursday as part of an ongoing state-wide strike over mental health services. In November, the National Union of Healthcare Workers gave notice to California regulators that it planned a state-wide strike after months of negotiations between the labor organization and Kaiser failed to result in an agreement between the two sides. On Monday, hundreds of mental health workers across the state took to the picket lines as part of a week-long strike that saw dozens of employees walk off the job in Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno and Los Angeles. On Wednesday, Kaiser mental health workers in Vallejo will picket, followed by a strike in Vacaville at the medical campus located near Vaca Valley Parkway. The Vacaville location is the closest Kaiser hospital serving residents in Winters. Kaiser also operates a medical office in Davis, though that location was not included in a list of campuses impacted by the strike likely because it does not offer mental health services. Union officials say the strike follows a demand that Kaiser do more to increase staffing for mental health services, saying patients are receiving lackluster care that involves waiting weeks, sometimes months, for an appointment. The labor organization said it wants clinicians to have more decision making power in how often patients are seen and whether group therapy options should be considered. Kaiser disputes the notion that the strike has anything to do with concerns over care, saying the union is asking for salary and benefit increases for workers it claims are already among the highest-paid in the nation. Kaiser said those demands would decrease, not increase, the quality of care for patients. “It’s particularly disheartening that union leadership would call this strike during the holiday season, when many of our patients with mental health needs may be at their most vulnerable,” Kaiser said in a press release. Kaiser said it worked to mitigate the impact on non-urgent care appointments after learning about the strike. Despite the event, those with urgent mental health needs will still be able to get care at Kaiser, the medical service said.]]>
Mental health workers to strike at Kaiser Vacaville on Thursday
The Vacaville campus is one of dozens of Kaiser locations affected by a state-wide strike over mental health services.