By Dawn Martin, Medical Assistant with Kaiser Battle Ground Clinic in Washington State
As a Medical Assistant with Kaiser, I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen the tour de force of my fellow workers when times get tough. I’ve seen my colleagues put it all on the line for their patients and for each other. On an everyday basis, we move quickly to keep appointments on track, and this can lead to mistakes, like a patient receiving the wrong immunization. All of this just adds to the stress our patients already feel.
It doesn’t have to be this way; our patients deserve better. And yet my employer, healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente, continues to bargain in bad faith with frontline healthcare workers over solutions to the Kaiser short staffing crisis. That's why I'm sticking with my co-workers and joining the largest healthcare worker strike in U.S. history.
Kaiser executives are refusing to listen to frontline healthcare workers like me and are bargaining in bad faith over the solutions we need to end the Kaiser short staffing crisis.
Massive hospital systems like Kaiser have profited vast amounts of money, especially after the pandemic. Kaiser made $3 billion in the first 6 months of this year alone! Meanwhile, frontline healthcare workers like me were asked to put our lives on the line for low pay and without the staffing levels we needed to do our jobs well.
Record profits should mean record contracts that invest in workers and the patients we serve.
Across our economy, workers are rising up to demand that we're respected, protected and paid rather than profit just lining billionaire CEOs' pockets. We're taking on the GMs, Starbucks, Amazons and Kaisers of the world.