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The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

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Medical Strike Affects Front Range

Kaiser Permanente workers go on strike for better pay and more staffing
Miguel Gutierrez Jr
Kaiser Permanente workers protesting for better pay and more staff workers. This strike will continue until Saturday October 7th and maybe again in November.

Almost half of Kaiser Permanente workers began a 3 day strike after failing to reach a deal. This three day strike is part of a nationwide labor action involving 75,000 Kaiser Permante workers in multiple states. Kaiser says all of its facilities will remain open but warned members some of their non urgent appointments might be canceled. If you need a prescription for something, it may take longer to get due to this protest. 

Workers are going on this strike to protest unfair labor practices and unsafe staffing levels. In addition to this, workers demand a fund of 2,500 per year for health care accounts and fixed retirement plans. Kaiser says this protest has “robust plans in place to ensure members continue to receive safe, high quality care.” 

Kaiser has offered across the board wage increases in all markets over the next four years. It’s proposed a minimum wage of $25 per hour in California and $23 per hour in other states. Nonprofit health proposes a minimum wage of $21 per hour in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii and Washington, D.C.

This is the largest health care strike in the United States. More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers walked off the job. This protest will go until October 7, 2023, but there is a plan to have a longer strike in November if a new employment contract is not negotiated until then. 

Some negotiating progress had been made before this protest started. Management and the unions have not come together on wage increases yet. This is the first time Kaiser Permanente workers have gone on strike. 

Kaiser said in a statement on Wednesday that even though no contract deal was made, there were some tentative agreements on a number of unspecified issues. The union says they are waiting on a response from Kaiser executives regarding their priorities including demands to get pay raises and increases in staffing. 

This strike will likely hurt Kaiser’s reputation and the narrative of patient care. Kaiser only faced 7% turnover compared to other industries at 21% despite the COVID 19 pandemic. The workers last contract was made in 2019 a year before the pandemic hit. 

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About the Contributor
Kaylee Ledgerwood
Kaylee Ledgerwood, Staff Writer
Kaylee is a freshman who is not just new to Frederick High but to the Lantern staff as well. In her spare time, she likes to read, listen to music, and hang out with her friends.

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