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Kaiser Workers Stage One-Day Strike

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Aired 5/18/11

Some 200 health care workers from Kaiser facilities in San Diego County walked off the job today. They joined more than than 2,000 other union members in a large protest against Kaiser in Los Angeles.

— Some 200 health care workers from Kaiser facilities in San Diego County walked off the job today. They joined more than than 2,000 other union members in a large protest against Kaiser in Los Angeles.

Southern California members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers are trying to negotiate a new contract with Kaiser.

Those in the San Diego local include social workers and psychologists.

Jim Clifford works as a therapist at a Kaiser clinic in Otay Mesa. He said the main issue is inadequate staffing.

"Because if you don't have enough staffing in our clinics," Clifford said, "then patients have to wait longer, because there's simply not appointments available. And we think that's a danger, frankly, if patients can't be seen in a timely manner in our mental health clinics."

Kaiser wouldn't provide anyone to KPBS News for an interview. In a written response, Kaiser said it hopes to reach a fair and equitable contact with the union.

The current labor agreement expired more than a year ago.

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