For Immediate Release
May 18, 2021
OAKLAND, Calif. – Healthcare workers and allies including Oakland At-Large City Councilmember and Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan and Alameda Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Ortega-Toro will rally and give speeches at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center to protest Kaiser’s announcement that it will eliminate 276 jobs at several facilities, including 33 patient care technicians in Oakland.
The layoffs come after Kaiser Permanente reported a net income of $6.4 billion in 2020.
“The Oakland caregivers Kaiser is cutting were at ground zero of the Covid-19 response. We turned coronavirus patients on their stomach and held them so they could breathe,” said Joann Corgile, a patient care technician at Kaiser Permanente Oakland. “We held their phones up so they could say goodbye to their families. We were often the last person to hold their hands. And now Kaiser wants to show us the door? That hurts.”
While Kaiser Permanente is eliminating 276 positions throughout the state, workers are questioning why the Oakland facility was singled out for cutbacks in bedside care.
“Targeting Oakland for cutbacks in patient care raises serious concerns about health equity,” said Fay Eastman, a patient care technician at Kaiser Permanente Oakland. “Our community deserves the same level of bedside care as the other communities Kaiser operates in. Why is the hospital in Oakland taking all the direct care cuts?”
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.