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Union City Kaiser Permanente to Remain Open During Possible Employee Strikes

Elective procedures may be rescheduled depending on contract negotiations. Fremont Kaiser is also set to remain open during the strikes.

Kaiser Permanente sent an email to patients over the weekend notifying them of potential strikes and work stoppages from its employees starting at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and ending at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

Despite the potential strike, the Kaiser Permanente email says it is prepared to continue to provide regular services at all of its Northern California locations, including the located at 3555 Whipple Road and the Fremont Kaiser site at 39400 Paseo Padre Pkwy.

Kaiser Permanente is in contract negotiations with the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents optical workers and behavioral health employees.

The California Nurses Association is calling for a work-stoppage in support of the strike.

Gay Westfall, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, issued a statement today and said, "Our first priority [of Kaiser Permanente] is always the safety and care of our members and patients."

In the statement he writes: "Kaiser Permanente Northern California has been bargaining in good faith with NUHW for more than a year, and we will continue to do so. We have made significant progress, and have 31 signed tentative agreements with each NUHW unit. The next step in this process has been in NUHW’s hands since last July. For more than six months, Kaiser Permanente has been waiting for a proposal from NUHW in response to KP’s first proposal on wages and benefits."

Westfall says they are dismayed at the potential strikes and work stoppage as this will be the second time in four months that patient care will be distrupted due to previous disputes with the California Nurses Association.

Some optical sales departments may be closed Tuesday, according to a statement on Kaiser's website. If elective procedures need to be rescheduled, patients will receive a phone call.

For more information, visit the Kaiser website to read a statement from the company.

Castro Valley Patch Editor Analisa Harangozo contributed to this story.

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