Kaiser mental health workers end strike amid tentative deal


Mental health workers picket in front of the Kaiser Permanente medical campus in Vacaville on Thursday, August 25, 2022. (Photo by Matthew Keys for Solano NewsNet)

Mental health workers employed by Kaiser Permanente have ended a months-long strike after reaching a tentative deal with the health organization on Tuesday.

In a statement sent to Solano NewsNet on Tuesday, a Kaiser Permanente spokesperson said the deal was reached early Tuesday morning after Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg brokered peace between the two sides.

The tentative agreement lasts for four years and is expected to bring about several improvements to patient care and support for mental health care workers, the spokesperson said.

Union members will vote on whether to ratify the agreement with Kaiser Permanente over the next two days. The contract is expected to be approved, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mental health workers have been on strike since mid-August after complaining that Kaiser Permanente’s time quotas and other requirements created an environment where employees were overburdened. Officials who spoke with Solano NewsNet said the strike was not about financial compensation, but was focused instead on improving patient care.

During the strike, Kaiser Permanente said members who had mental health appointments or emergencies were sent to contract providers who provide the same or similar care.

“Half of our patients receive their care from mental health community providers who are not involved with the strike,” a spokesperson said in August.

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