Healthcare staff protest for truthful compensation exterior Kaiser in Downey

Dozens of health care workers peacefully protested outside Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center on National Doctors’ Day for fair compensation.

Unions such as the OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union) Local 30 and the SEIU-UHW (Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers) supported the demands of health care workers that Kaiser should compensate their employees appropriately.

The March 30 demonstration called on Kaiser to pay the doctors and nurses the “hero bonus” promised at the beginning of the pandemic.

OPEIU Local 30 CFO Marianne Giordano and Union President Micheal Ramey, along with health workers, protested for fair wages as they marched outside the medical center.

“These healthcare workers should be recognized for a ‘hero bonus’. Kaiser makes billions of dollars and has cut his bonus with healthcare workers, ”said Giordano.

“At the moment we are just trying to get the attention of the public and the Kaiser leadership,” said President Ramey. “We know how hard they are working on the front lines of this pandemic. You work with COVID patients and extra hours. We would like to draw attention to Kaiser and say that we would like to be recognized. ”

Giordano said the unions had spoken to the Kaiser leadership at the national level to express their dissatisfaction with their compensation. Nevertheless, the imperial leaders refused to change their wages.

The member of the SEIU-UHW Executive Committee, Gabriel Montoya, also took part in the protest and joined the demands for the promised “hero bonus”.

“OPEIU and SEIU are in a coalition called CKPU (Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions),” said Montoya. “Kaiser didn’t reach us either. They basically said, “You get what you get.”

“The frustrating thing is that Kaiser made $ 6.4 billion this year during a pandemic where healthcare workers were the backbone to get Kaiser through the pandemic. Kaiser would not have any discussion of the risk payment at all, ”said the committee member.

Ramey also called for the Recognition and Retention of Healthcare Workers Act (AB650) to be passed, requiring healthcare companies to pay bonuses to all non-executive employees who work during the pandemic.

In addition to the march, a caravan of vehicles drove around the Kaiser campus on Bellflower Boulevard to attract more public attention for health worker compensation.

When they protested, dozens of patients lined up to get their COVID-19 vaccine. The protesters said they had no intention of intimidating anyone into receiving the vaccine.

Dwayne Henry was waiting in line to get his vaccine when health care workers protested. He stated that he was not intimidated by the protest to prevent him from getting the vaccine.

“You could have protested right here and that wouldn’t stop me from getting the vaccine,” Henry said, pointing to the vaccination line.

The CKPU plans to continue protesting outside the Kaiser Medical Centers in California until their demands for fair compensation and their “Hero’s Bonus” are met.

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