Mental health workers start weeklong strike in California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thousands of Kaiser Permanente mental health professionals throughout California kicked off a weeklong strike Monday to protest what they say is a lack of staffing that affects care.

National Union of Healthcare Workers says 4,000 psychologists, therapists, social workers, psychiatric nurses and other medical professionals will picket through Friday.

Union president Sal Rosselli tells the East Bay Times patients have to wait a month or more for follow-up mental health appointments due to low staffing levels. He says Kaiser needs to hire hundreds more clinicians.

Michelle Gaskill-Hames, Kaiser’s chief nurse executive says the walkout is not about better care bur to push for higher wages.

Kaiser says its medical centers will remain open during the strike but that some mental health care appointments during the week may be canceled.

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Information from: East Bay Times, http://www.eastbaytimes.com

Categories: California News