A planned five-day strike by over 4,000 health professionals at Kaiser Permanente psychologists has been postponed. The strike was set to begin on Monday. It has been deferred in acknowledgment of the death of Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson. Union officials voted to postpone the strike after the news about his death surfaced. Leaders of the National Union of Healthcare Workers have yet to announce the new date of the strike. “We offer our condolences to Bernard Tyson’s family, colleagues, and friends,” reads a statement issued by NUHW president Sal Rosselli. “Health professionals dedicate their lives to helping people in their tough times. We very well understood that going ahead with the planned strike would not be right during this period of mourning and reflection,” he added.
As per the planned strike, mental health services at more than 100 clinics and medical facilities managed by Kaiser Permanente would have shut from November 11 to November 15. “I know Bernard since early 1980s when he was a manager at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Centre. Despite our differences, I had tremendous respect for Bernard Tyson for his willingness to always make Kaiser the best medical services provider in California,” Rosselli said. Annie Russell, CEO for Southern California Permanente Group expressed displeasure over the reports of proposed strike. The CEO said that it is really disappointing that the leadership of the National Union of Healthcare Workers has once again called for a strike. Russell said the strike does not make any sense as health professionals are already being given generous wages.
60 years old Tyson died in his sleep on Sunday. He had been associated with the 11.8 million-member health plan for over 30 years and was CEO for the past six years. During his tenure as the CEO of the consortium, Tyson grew revenue from USD 53 billion to more than USD 80 billion. According to Modern Healthcare, he earned about USD 10 million in compensation in 2016. Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tyson got featured in TIME’s Health Care 50 for his efforts to boost community health in areas like West Baltimore.