Kaiser Case Managers, Patient Educators, Nurse Midwives, and WOCNs Head to Bargaining

December 2011

On December 3, Kaiser case managers, patient educators, nurse midwives, and WOCNs gathered to celebrate their recent vote to join UNAC/UHCP and plan the next chapter of the journey. In speaking with case managers from Kaiser Antelope Valley, it became clear that for some, there is a serious issue not just with workload, but with basic human dignity and respect on the job. Case managers reported being able to cope only because soon, a union would be by their side to deal with outrageous behavior from management, such as being told they're "useless," and "the worst case managers ever."

Not surprisingly, many reported morale in their units is very low. Said a case manager from Antelope Valley, "if the union wasn't coming, I wouldn't stay."

Case managers at Kaiser Riverside spoke of losing benefits and worried because there is no cap on the number of patients they see. Said one RN, "they keep adding more and more to our workload."

Others explained that it was coworkers, not management, that ensured case managers would be covered during breaks. Given the addition of an increasing number of logs, including one discharge log that was added within the last two weeks, the case managers worried they spend less time with each patient, more time filling out logs.

Margaret Colby, a Midwife at Kaiser Woodland Hills, also mentioned charting as an increasing component of her time spent on the job. She noted flex benefits, retirement changes, and medical as reasons she was glad to have joined together with UNAC/UHCP.

Bargaining for the Kaiser case managers, patient educators, nurse midwives, and WOCNs begins January 24, 2012.