Security officers who work at Kaiser rallied this week in Oakland and Los Angeles calling on the state’s largest health care provider to provide more sick days and family medical benefits.
The workers are members of SEIU USWW, which represents more than 1,800 contracted security officers at Kaiser facilities throughout California. The officers are currently negotiating for a new contract.
Joining in the protest, held Tuesday, March 12, were aides of Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Nancy Skinner and leaders of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice.
Currently, contracted security officers at Kaiser are given two sick days a year, and their families wait three years to be eligible for health benefits. The result of these policies, security officers say, is that they are forced to choose between coming to work sick or losing pay – which puts patients and employees at unnecessary risk.
According Robert Burns, a security officer at a Southern California Kaiser, who struggled to keep working after having surgery, “We need sick leave so that we can heal fully. The way it is now, you can’t afford to get sick.”
“When it comes to caring for community health, Kaiser is a leader,” said Assemblymember Skinner of Berkeley. “It’s time that care be extended to those who work hard every day to keep patients and employees safe. It’s unacceptable that our security officers have had to wait three years for family health benefits. This needs to be fixed now.”