Kaiser Permanente's mental health workers to go on weeklong strike throughout California

IndustriesAssociated Press

Hundreds of Kaiser Permanente's mental health professionals will start a weeklong strike throughout California Monday to protest what they say is the health care provider's failure to offer timely, quality mental health care.

Kaiser Permanente's 2,600 psychologists, therapists and social workers are represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

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The union says there is a shortage of staff and Kaiser has refused to address the issue. It says that has led to some patients having to wait up to two months for follow-up appointments.

Kaiser's Vice President of Government Relations John Nelson denies that and says the union is attacking the health provider as a bargaining strategy.

Kaiser and the union have been unable to reach a contract agreement since the union was formed five years ago.