[May 16, 2019] OAKLAND, Calif. – Thousands of healthcare workers will rally across California at 33 hospitals owned by Kaiser Permanente from May 16 through June 12 to urge the healthcare giant to get ‘back on track’ by championing affordable healthcare for all, quality patient care and strong jobs.
“Although Kaiser Permanente is a ‘non-profit’ hospital system, too often it acts like a ‘for-profit’ corporation that leaves behind the values, community relationships and connection to patients and healthcare workers that made it a success,” said Verna Hampton, an employee at Kaiser West Los Angeles. “We are determined to get Kaiser back on track as the provider that communities enthusiastically call their own, patients believe offers the best care, and employees are proud to work for.”
Kaiser has drifted from its origins as a community-based health provider. It reported profits of $3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019, on top of the $6.5 billion it reported over the previous two years; it is sitting on $31.5 billion in reserves – more than the city budgets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego and San Jose combined; 36 of its executives are paid more than a $1 million annually, led by the CEO with $16 million; only 8 percent of its patients are covered by Medi-Cal, compared to an average of 27 percent at other non-profit hospitals in California; and it wants to outsource jobs to companies that pay less and offer few if any benefits.
More than 55,000 Kaiser Permanente employees in California are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). Their contract with Kaiser Permanente expires Sept. 30, 2019.