Kaiser Permanente lays off hundreds of Northern California employees

A security guard looks through a window as nurses strike outside of Kaiser Permanente hospital on November 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
A security guard looks through a window as nurses strike outside of Kaiser Permanente hospital on November 11, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Kaiser Permanente sent out layoff notices to hundreds of Northern California workers on Monday.

Union members said it’s not sitting well with them during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement to KCBS Radio, Kaiser is calling it a restructuring, eliminating about 200 positions while still adding other positions in other areas:

"In any staff reorganization we are committed to - and highly successful at - working with employees to identify other positions within Kaiser Permanente to transition them into. And if we are unable to do so, we provide benefits to eligible employees that typically include education and training benefits, outplacement services, and up to a year of wages and benefits. While these changes will represent a very small percentage of our workforce, we do not undertake them lightly and we always consider the support our valued colleagues will need as a result of these decisions."

Georgette Bradford is an ultrasound technologist at Kaiser Sacramento, hit by Monday’s restructuring. She called the changes something else.

"It’s a slap in the face," she said.

Bradford added that hiring new employees won’t make up for the ones who have just been told they’re out of a job.

"You lose that sense of community when you start picking off people, especially people that have been there for decades and bring in new people," she said. "At the end of the day, you’re focusing on the dollar, you’re focusing on a balance sheet. You’re not focusing on care."

She sees that as malicious during a time when Kaiser’s employees have been working like crazy to battle the pandemic.

Kaiser’s statement went on to "recognize the incredible contribution of all of our staff who have performed admirably especially throughout the past year and we are committed to providing comprehensive and personalized support."