Oregon & SW Washington – Pharmacy workers represented by UFCW Local 555 at Kaiser Permanente will walk off the job tomorrow (October 1) at 6:00am to begin a 21-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike. The votes for the ULP strike took place between September 10 and September 16 among imaging and pharmacy healthcare professionals represented by UFCW 555 across Oregon and SW Washington.
Daily picketing will commence at 6:00am and conclude at 7:00pm at the locations listed below, with the ULP strike ending on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 3:00pm.
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center Campus
10180 SE Sunnyside Rd
Clackamas, OR 97015
Kaiser Westside Medical Center Campus
2875 NE Stucki Ave
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Kaiser Regional Lab
13705 NE Airport Way C
Portland, OR 97230
Kaiser Airport Way Center
5721 and 5725 NE 138th Ave.
Portland, OR 97230
Kaiser has committed numerous Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs), including failing to provide information regarding bargaining and grievances, attempting to directly deal with our members, and attempting to dictate to the Union who may serve as its representative.
UFCW Local 555 and Kaiser Permanente have been in negotiations for months. Local 555’s bargaining team has pushed for first-year wage adjustments, increased wage differentials such as for nights and weekends, and increased staffing.
It is the Union’s position that the staffing crisis has led to a serious decline of the quality of services provided. Over the past few months, UFCW 555 has been collecting patient stories citing staffing issues. Some of those stories are included below. (Minor edits were made for clarity, but not content. Contact information available on request for verification):
“I found a lump in my breast. I was able to make an appointment to be seen to determine next steps. After the doctor performed an exam, he suggested I have a diagnostic mammogram done. The earliest they could schedule it is October 5. Today is Aug. 23. If it’s cancer, I have to wait 6-weeks just for imaging!! This is unacceptable and saddening and that no one else seems to have a sense of urgency about this! I pray it’s not cancer, because a lot can happen in 6-weeks!” – Celeste, KP Patient.
“In September 2021, my cousin tried to get in to see his doctor because he was having chronic, severe pain. It took three months to get his 11-minute appointment. His doctor scheduled him for a colonoscopy and endoscopy in January, but the appointment was canceled by a clerk because he’d already had a colonoscopy three years before. (Our family has a history of colon cancer, making regular monitoring essential.) By the time his doctor intervened, there were no more appointments available for four months. In the eight months since symptoms first appeared, my cousin finally got a diagnosis that May: terminal colon, stomach, and pancreatic cancer. Kaiser told him he’d live six months and advised against chemotherapy. He ignored the advice, got a second opinion, and is doing well (no longer a Kaiser patient), two years later.” – Laurie, KP Patient
“Trying to make an appointment for an ultrasound was extremely difficult. I had to wait 2 full months before an appointment was available. This is unacceptable. I also needed some physical therapy and the wait was almost 3 months. They offered me to go to a clinic outside of Kaiser to get scheduled in 3 weeks. Why is Kaiser trying so hard to build their membership when they can’t provide services to the ones they have? Also several months to actually see a live provider and not a phone appointment.” – Dina, KP Patient.
“While the KP workers are always awesome and treat me very well, the waits for things have become very tedious. Scheduling things is an obstacle, lines for services have become excessive, and it’s clear the workers are trying their best just to keep up with a difficult pace. I chose Kaiser specifically for how well they have treated me in the past, and I see the conditions for that eroding. Provide the KP workers with whatever they need to get back to where we used to be!” Nathan, KP Patient
“I visited urgent care, but had to leave after 4 hours because of another appointment. I had wanted to meet with a physician in person on the same day, but was forced to wait until the week after for a video visit instead. The next available office appointment was not for two months. Although I deeply appreciate the quality of care I receive from Kaiser physicians and nurses, it has become almost impossible to receive it due to the understaffing and work conditions imposed on them by management. I urge KP management to listen to UFCW during bargaining and to take steps to remedy this unacceptable situation.” Stewart, KP Patient