On Wednesday morning, Kaiser Permanente, the largest nonprofit private health care provider in both Colorado and the U.S., announced several pharmacies and other services will be closed during the strike.
The two sides had until Wednesday to come to an agreement, and nothing has been reached.
So, a strike will happen from Oct. 4 at 6 a.m. to Oct. 7 at 6 a.m.
More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers, 3,000 in Colorado, will protest unfair labor practices and unsafe staffing levels at hundreds of Kaiser hospitals and facilities across the U.S.
This strike will be the largest health care worker strike in U.S. history.
Kaiser Permanente pharmacies closed during the strike
The following pharmacies will be impacted by the strike.
- Denver/Boulder area
- Baseline (Boulder), Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Ken Caryl (Littleton), Parker, and Skyline (Denver)
- Northern Colorado
- Fort Collins and Greeley
- Southern Colorado
- Acero (Pueblo), Briargate (Colorado Springs), and Premier (Colorado Springs)
There will also be a handful of labs and medical imaging departments that will close during this time.
“We are disappointed that some unions have called on employees to participate in labor strikes,” Kaiser Permanente said on its website. “We want to reassure you that your care is our top priority. We have contingency plans in place to help ensure you continue to receive safe, high-quality care during this period.”
They went on to say some patients might experience longer wait times and higher call volumes and may even be asked to reschedule some non-urgent appointments.
Kaiser Permanente also said medical offices and urgent care departments will remain open during the strike but said, in some cases, they could be staffed by licensed and qualified contractors.
Workers are asking for better staffing levels as part of a resolution.
“Kaiser executives refuse to acknowledge how much patient care has deteriorated or how much the frontline health care workforce and patients are suffering because of the Kaiser short-staffing crisis. We’re taking action because we can’t let this staffing crisis continue,” said Charmaine Arellano, medical assistant at the Kaiser Permanente Lakewood medical offices.
Kaiser said their goal is to reach a fair agreement.
“Both Kaiser Permanente management and Coalition union representatives are still at the bargaining table, having worked through the night in an effort to reach an agreement. There has been a lot of progress, with agreements reached on several specific proposals late Tuesday. We remain committed to reaching a new agreement that continues to provide our employees with market-leading wages, excellent benefits, generous retirement income plans, and valuable professional development opportunities,” Kaiser Permanente said.
In that Tuesday proposal, Kaiser Permanente’s offer included guaranteed across-the-board wage increases of 12.5% over 4 years and a proposed $21 minimum wage in 2024 in Colorado. Minimum wages would increase each year of the 4-year contract.