- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 9, 2014

Some 18,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses in Northern California are planning a two-day strike this week against what they say is unpreparedness in fighting the deadly Ebola virus.

The walkout scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday would affect 21 hospitals and 65 clinics owned by Kaiser Permanente, said Charles Idelson, a spokesman for National Nurses United, Bloomberg reported.

The union said in a statement Thursday that Kaiser “continued to stonewall on dozens of proposals to improve patient care standards, as well as refusing to address the concern of Kaiser RNs about Ebola safety protocols and protective equipment, refusing to even answer questions by the RNs.”

Kaiser Spokesman John Nelson denied allegations that health workers aren’t being trained adequately.

“We are training our staff on how to use the right protective gear, to make sure they know how to use it,” he told Bloomberg. “We have repeatedly asked union leadership to work with us on our Ebola strategy. They have refused. Instead, they continue to hold press conferences claiming hospitals are unprepared for Ebola.”

Mr. Nelson said Kaiser hospitals are preparing for the walkout next week by rescheduling elective procedures and nonurgent appointments.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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