Thousands Of NorCal Health Care Workers On One-Day Strike

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Whether it’s chants or car horns honking in support, disgruntled health care professionals in Sacramento and across the state were intent on getting their employers’ attention today.

“Kaiser, Kaiser you can’t hide. We can see your greedy side.”

That was one of the chants of strikers outside Kaiser Permanente’s north campus in Sacramento on Thursday.

Thousands of nurses working at Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health facilities across the state joined the picket lines in a show of solidarity with some 4,000 members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents mental health professionals, therapists and optical workers who are striking to protest proposed cuts by Kaiser to benefits.

“I would say to Kaiser to lead by example,” said Kelli Coleman of the California Nurses Association, the mega union that represents Kaiser nurses. “You don’t cut from the bottom and the people that work the hardest at the hospitals.”

Workers are upset that Kaiser and Sutter Health are proposing these cuts while they continue to make huge profits.

“This is while Kaiser has made $5.7 billion in profits, the CEO makes millions and has eight pensions,” said John Barsos of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

A spokeswoman insists Kaiser is negotiating in good faith but offered no further details on progress. “Out of respect for the negotiations process we won’t comment on the negotiations process,” said Kaiser Senior Vice President Patricia Rodriguez.

Meanwhile the health care giant had to call in back up to cover the missed shifts, but all elective surgeries were canceled Thursday.

“We have a team of highly qualified people,” Rodriguez said. “We’re ready to care for our patients today.”

But at least patient said he noticed the difference.

“They have people standing in the halls you know to help you with a lot of things, but it seems they don’t really know what they’re doing,” he said.

  • Fred

    Union abuse. When will it end? Think health care is too expensive? Blame unions!

    • Tom

      Fred you are a fool it’s not the unions that are the cause of the high medical cost lets get it right IT’S THE BILLIONS OF FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ILLEGALS ! that is why medical cost are going so high .REMEMBER ! the state of California is spending 28.1 BILLON ! dollars on free services for illegals this year alone Americans are being forced to buy medical while the federal goverment is forcing hospitals to give it to them free AMERICA NEEDS TO WAKE UP ! LETS TAKE ARE COUNTRY BACK FROM THESE CROOKS ! GO 1 UNIONS !

      • me

        NO Tom you are the fool but you are half right.unions are half the problem! illegals are another huge part!
        But in a nut shell government is the biggest problem!!

      • James

        NO, YOU’RE BOTH WRONG! Have you ever seen the OVER-GENEROUS, LUDICROUS contracts the ADMINISTRATORS get? NO? Yeah, that’s right I didn’t think so. You don’t know and just follow the media hype…”Oh, it’s the unions’ fault”! …..IGNORANT FOOLS!

      • Paul

        No Tom, illegals cannot get approved for medical/care you idiot. How about you go to your Dept. of Human Assistant office in your county and find out for yourself, that 90% of the people there are white. … Did i just say “white AMERICANS,” you Racist POS. Serious stop talking out your @$$!

      • James Curnutt

        Tom, you are an bigot and idiot. Not surprising both traits can live in one individual I guess. Medical costs are high because of INSURANCE CORPORATIONS that want their cut of profit from medical care. A million dollar white premies are far more costiler than anything an immigrant may need in an ER visit.

        What a bozo! And we wonder what is wrong with our society.

  • Hereticmonk

    How come our law makers never have to strike to get their pay raised? They want you to believe that it’s unions that are destroying our society but in fact it is our lawmakers who drain the coffers and who are blaming the unions. I’m sure if nurses could give themselves pay raises and new cars paid for by the tax payers like our lawmakers do every year they wouldn’t need to strike either.

    • James

      yeah, well, they DON’T NEED OUR APPROVAL to give themselves raises…..

  • sally

    Ok Ms Trish President why don’t you give up your salary and your benefits for 5 years and do something instead of sitting behind closed doors and doing nothing you make me sick

    • Brandy

      It’s always the same with these administrators. They sit behind closed doors and PRETEND to speak for the rest of the employees. I promise that they won’t have their healthcare taken away after years of NOT coming into contact with every known pathogen known to man. “We really honor and respect our nurses>” LIES.

  • James


  • Lance Neufeld

    The fact that ANY union would recommend a strike in this economy proves how greedy they are! Unions may only be one part of the high health care cost equation, but they are a HUGE portion of the problem we have in our economy. The sooner unions are disbanded, the better off we will all be. I applaud the hospitals for hiring so-called “scabs” (no pun intended) to replace union nurses. Arizona has had a consistenly healthy economy due to their right-to-work status that doesn’t pander to unions.

    • James

      uhhhh, yeah, right, another IGNORANT PUKE!

    • James

      You must be an administrator, or a relative of one, cause you sound just like them…..

  • Ian

    Let’s take a simple poll. Everyone who would like there retirement put into a 401K subject to the ups and downs of the economy go sit in the shallow end of the gene pool and those who would like a fixed pension at retirement go to Hawaii and bask in the sun at the beach.

  • trisha

    the NURSES do need the support & higher raises, they are the ones that take care of you when your in the hospital, not the stupid ADMINISTRATOR, that sits behind close door all day long and complain on facebook.

    • Rusty

      Nurses get plenty already for 2 lousy years of schooling.

  • Michael

    The nurses have the #1 most sought after skills. They are the lucky few who have total job security and high wages. How dare they strike when so many of us can’t even get a job at McDonalds. GREED!

  • Tracie

    I am embarrassed that the nurses are striking. The word nurse and union should not even be in the same sentence, nurses have worked so hard for their profession and to be considered a professional, this is a set back! The focus should be the patient, not the nurse. Nurses make a great salary, have benefits and job security. Look around, look at our economy

  • Fencepost

    BOO frikkety Hoo…You have jobs, benefits etc but it’s just never enough

  • Rusty

    What’s the point of striking one day and then crawl back to work the next? If your are serious, then just quit!

  • Jeff


    I’m in the pvt sector of one of the hospital branches, and the Nurses get paid more and have better benefits than us and we here are worrying about losing jobs, but the nurses are GREEDY and refuse to sacrifice anything.

    I do not feel sorry for them at all

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