UPDATED 9:39 AM PT — Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Some hospitals nationwide are bracing for a possible nurses strike this fall, which could outdo the massive walkout in 1997 by UPS workers. Members of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente, which includes nearly a dozen different labor unions, are now voting if they want to walk out. Nearly three quarters of the 85,000 coalition members work in California.
This follows another nurses strike in Ohio, where a new contract was ratified in July after a tentative one had been rejected. The nurses at a hospital in Toledo walked out for six weeks in May and June. Their demands included more staffing to prevent nurses from working double shifts and overtime.
The nurses at Kaiser are hoping for more staff increases as well, along with no cuts to their benefits and a subcontracting ban.
In July, Kaiser offered nurses in California three-percent raises each year through at least 2022. There were also proposed raises for nurses in Hawaii, Washington State, Colorado and in the mid-Atlantic area. Shortly after that, the nurses started voting on whether to strike.
Union nurses in Washington, D.C. and five states will continue voting into September with the strike possibly starting in October.