Kaiser mental health workers begin 5-day strike in California

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Mental health workers at two Bay Area Kaiser Permanente facilities are walking off the job Monday. The strike is meant to improve staffing and benefits.

There are barricades outside the medical center on Geary Street in San Francisco.

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The plan is to go on strike until late Friday night.

This involves mental health professionals, 4,000 psychologists, therapists and social workers statewide.

The unions say they have made arrangements so patients won't be impacted and the offices can stay open.

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"We are moving resources and executing an operation plan to make this as minimal to patients as possible and we apologize to our members, to our patients," said Kaiser Permanente Chief Nurse Executive Michelle Gaskill-Hames.

Those who are walking out say they are doing this because they want better care for their patients. They say they would like to spend more time with patients but Kaiser would like them to cut the amount of time they spend with them.

Kaiser says some appointments may need to be rescheduled this week because of the strike.
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