SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thousands of Kaiser Permanente nurses plan to walk off the job in Northern California during a two-day strike as contract negotiations continue, a union official said Monday.
California Nurses Association negotiator Katy Roemer expects the strike set for Tuesday and Wednesday to impact about 21 Kaiser hospitals and 35 clinics.
Kaiser will remain open during the strike, though some elective procedures and routine appointments may be rescheduled, the company said in an email to its members.
The contract talks started in July, with nurses claiming there has been an erosion of patient care standards in Kaiser facilities for months, and that Kaiser has failed to adopt optimal safeguards for Ebola.
California Hospital Association spokeswoman Jan Emerson-Shea said the nurses’ union is using the crisis to further its own causes.
“The union is in contact negotiations with the hospitals they are striking. They are using Ebola as a rouse,” she said.
The association represents and advocates for California hospitals, patients and communities.
Emerson said the association is working closely with federal, state and local agencies to assure the public that universal precautions are in place to screen and identify infectious diseases. There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in California.