Nurses are gearing up to return to the bargaining table with Kaiser, after walking off the job for a two-day strike.
Though the nurses emphasized the stalemate over more than 35 operational proposals in their call for the strike – over things like staffing levels and Ebola protections – several nurses on the picket lines expressed concerns about economic issues. Many of them wore pins that said "No TakeAways."
Nurse Ama Jackson says they are afraid Kaiser will try to cut their pensions and health care benefits.
“They want to do takeaways, because they want to increase their profits,” she said, as hundreds of nurses marched up and down the sidewalk outside Kaiser's hospital in Oakland last Tuesday. “But nurses are saying, 'That’s not fair. That’s not fair to how hard we work.'”
It's been three months of bargaining, but neither side has made any formal economic proposals in the negotiations yet. Nurses say they have made clear that they simply want to renew the same contract they passed in the last round of bargaining in 2011.