NewsLocal News


Local health care workers gather on Labor Day to rally for change

Posted at 12:19 PM, Sep 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-04 15:19:42-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) -- Hundreds of San Diego health care workers spent Labor Day morning in La Mesa rallying for change.

Catherine Engler has been working as a nurse at a local Kaiser Permanente for the past 36 years. She said lately, staffing conditions at work are making it more difficult to do her job.

“I can come into work and it [will] only be one other person; and we can see 80 patients. To get the proper care, you need to be able to do more than a minute with them. It doesn’t seem fair to spend a minute when they need much more,” said Engler.

On Monday, Engler joined other local health care workers not just from Kaiser, but from other health systems in San Diego, demanding change. The rally was organized by SEIU-United Health Care Workers West, a union working to highlight the need for better support for health care workers.

The rally comes as the union and Kaiser officials have been negotiating a new contract recently with strike votes already underway in some parts of the country.

In a statement sent to ABC 10News, Kaiser Permanente said, in part: “Our priority is to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial and ensures we can continue to offer our people market competitive pay and outstanding benefits.”

Michael Ramey, a Kaiser ultrasound technician, said he hopes Kaiser responds with action.

“We want our employer to be successful, we want to take care of the people in our community and our patients. But we’re in bargaining and they’re not coming to the table to discuss these things,” said Ramey.