Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Man wanted for Oakland March 2023 homicide arrested in Antioch

Thursday, August 31st, 2023

U.S. Marshals assist

By Oakland Police Department

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) has arrested Malik Jelks of Oakland for the homicide of Jemilen Enoch. The incident occurred on March 19, 2023, in the 1000 block of 82nd Avenue.

Thanks to the tireless and collaborative efforts of OPD Homicide Investigators and the US Marshals, Jelks was safely taken into custody on Monday in Antioch. 

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has charged Jelks for his involvement in the crime.

According to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department of August 31, 5-foot-7-inch, 130-pound suspect is in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter and has a plea hearing scheduled for Sept. 6 at 9:00 AM in the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse Dept. 112 in Oakland. Jelks’ bail is set at $200,000.

The Oakland Police Department (OPD) is investigating a homicide that occurred on March 19, 2023, in the 1000 block of 82nd Avenue, just before 9:30 PM. When officers arrived, they located a victim who had sustained a gunshot wound(s). Oakland Fire Department personnel arrived at the scene and pronounced the victim deceased.

Investigators from the OPD Homicide Section responded to the scene to take over the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the homicide.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the OPD Homicide Section at (510) 238-3821 or the TIP LINE at (510) 238-7950.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

Save Mount Diablo protects critical Balcerzak Inholding property within Mount Diablo State Park

Thursday, August 31st, 2023
Save Mount Diablo has purchased the “Balcerzak Inholding” including the most remote house on Mount Diablo. Balcerzak Inholding – Mt. Diablo View 2023. Photo by Justin Gray,

Must raise at least $500,000 and hopefully more for the land acquisition project. 

By Laura Kindsvater, Senior Communications Manager, Save Mount Diablo

On August 8, three weeks after signing a purchase agreement, Save Mount Diablo closed escrow and acquired the 10-acre “Balcerzak Inholding” property for $1,075,000, including a two-year, interest-only loan to cover half the purchase price. The “Balcerzak Inholding” is a small knoll and steep slopes nestled in an extremely rugged side canyon dropping from Knobcone Point into Curry Canyon, east of the State Park’s Curry Point. It includes a log cabin house and other structures.

“It is a major deal acquiring and protecting one of the few remaining private land inholdings within Mount Diablo State Park.  It is even more significant when you consider the time pressure and competition we had to face when the property was put on the market, and we were working to try and secure what had been an at-risk and beautiful inholding threatening Mount Diablo State Park.  We are already working with our valued agency partners, California State Parks and the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy, to get this land added to Mount Diablo State Park as soon as they can. Our terrific donors have also been reaching out to help us,” said Ted Clement, Save Mount Diablo Executive Director.

Save Mount Diablo’s “Balcerzak Inholding” is below the Knobcone Point Trail in upper Curry Canyon. AERIAL Balcerzak – 02-2022 by Save Mount Diablo.

The “Balcerzak Inholding” property was listed on a Monday and the Save Mount Diablo team lined up Board approval, secured a loan, and took other steps to be in the running for this land acquisition opportunity within a few days.

20,000-acre Mt. Diablo State Park has five inholdings—private land surrounded by public land. Inholdings are a unique opportunity for the landowner: isolation, views and spectacular beauty surrounded by nature but with special challenges including fires, floods, wildlife, privacy concerns and public recreational use. From a park agency’s perspective, private properties within parks create management challenges, impact resources and can conflict with recreational use.

Save Mount Diablo’s “Balcerzak Inholding” is surrounded by Mt. Diablo State Park near SMD’s Curry Canyon Ranch, southeast of the mountain’s summit. Reached through Clayton, it’s closer to Blackhawk and Danville. Area Map – Balcerzak 8-2023 by Save Mount Diablo

The “Balcerzak Inholding” includes a large log cabin house, barns and outbuildings as well as four converging stream canyons and black oaks, blue oaks, chaparral, and fire adapted knobcone pine woodland, near SMD’s 1,080 Curry Canyon Ranch property. Reached three miles up a steep dirt road from Morgan Territory Road near Clayton, as well as several fords of Curry Creek, the property is closer to Blackhawk and Danville. There is not a more isolated house in a more isolated canyon on all of Mt. Diablo.

“Curry Canyon’s side canyons are incredible,” said Seth Adams, SMD’s Land Conservation Director. “We did our due diligence, but we could have practically bought this property sight unseen. We knew from our Curry Canyon Ranch property just how rich the biodiversity is—we’ve recorded over 800 species of wildlife there. There are big rocky sandstone cliffs, knobcone pine forest just above the property and cultural sites nearby.  This inholding has been affecting hundreds of acres of the State Park. We’re reassembling a gorgeous natural landscape.”

The Balcerzak inholding wasn’t originally an inholding. It was part of the 6-lot Mann subdivision. “Backhoe Bob” Balcerzak purchased one of the lots in 1984 and built a large log cabin. In the 1960s Mt. Diablo State Park acquired part of the Blackhawk Ranch and expanded the park east down Curry Canyon from Curry Point and the Knobcone Point ridge. Later, five of the Mann parcels were purchased by the State in 1986 and 1987, completely encircling Balcerzak.  Bob Balcerzak passed away in September 2022 and his wife Barbara Ackerman put the property on the market in June.

Every rural community hopes for a neighbor like “Backhoe Bob” Balcerzak, handy, helpful and with a lot of tools and heavy equipment. For many years Bob Balcerzak helped maintain the fire road up Curry Canyon. But he was also blustering and protective of his property. He actively discouraged hikers on the adjacent public trail which climbed from the bottom of Curry Canyon and dead ended at the neighboring Bertagnolli property. Save Mount Diablo purchased Bertagnolli in 2013 and renamed it “Curry Canyon Ranch.”

Curry Canyon is a special high priority acquisition area for Save Mount Diablo. Diablo’s main peaks have many large canyons, such as Pine Canyon and Mitchell Canyon, most with fire roads and regional staging areas with lots of parking. Visitors love the easy access and shade in stream canyons. The exceptions were Riggs Canyon on Finley Road, where East Bay Regional Park District bought 768-acre Finley Road Ranch in April with Save Mount Diablo’s help, to provide better access.

Save Mount Diablo’s “Balcerzak Inholding” includes a log cabin, barns and other structures. Balcerzak House 2023 by Justin Gray,

And Curry Canyon with its “Sloan Road” which dropped east from Curry Point and Rock City. Early promoters billed it as the “Stockton Road’ or east entrance to the mountain, but legal public access wasn’t formally established. Save Mount Diablo and the State have preserved 5/6ths of the canyon and SMD has secured two other access routes. In March Save Mount Diablo also opened to the public a missing piece of the Knobcone Point Trail across its Curry Canyon Ranch property, connecting Curry Point and the Knobcone Point area in the State Park along a ridge east to Riggs Canyon. The bottom of Curry Canyon is still private, but the new Balcerzak acquisition will allow several new trail loops to be opened from the State Park across Curry Canyon Ranch.

But first Save Mount Diablo must raise at least $500,000 and hopefully more for the Balcerzak land acquisition project.  When Balcerzak was listed on the market, SMD was already committed to three other acquisitions, including its Krane Pond land acquisition project, in which it must complete fundraising for the $500,000 project by October, and its North Peak Ranch project near Clayton.  To move fast at Balcerzak, the organization took out a 2-year, interest only loan. As soon as possible within these two years Save Mount Diablo will look to receive funding support from its partner agencies.

Second, there will be a big cleanup effort at Balcerzak.  Although we’ve passed the property many times on the fire road, we only recently got a closer look.  The owners have done quite a bit to get the property ready for the market, but after 40 years there has been a big accumulation of ranch and construction materials. “Our stewardship volunteers love this kind of project,” said Land Programs Director Sean Burke. “We will spend hundreds of hours beautifying and healing this magical canyon.”

About Save Mount Diablo

Save Mount Diablo is a nationally accredited, nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, watersheds, and connection to the Diablo Range through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide educational and recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources. To learn more, please visit .

Sarale wins Bock Memorial at Antioch Speedway 

Thursday, August 31st, 2023
Caden Sarale #14 won the Doug Bock Memorial race for the BCRA Midgets. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Johns, Wagner, Davis, Land, Hannagan also winners

By Candice Martin, DCRR Racing Media

Antioch, CA…August 26…Caden Sarale of Stockton won the 30 lap BCRA Midgets Main Event Saturday night at Antioch Speedway. When long time car owner Doug Bock recently passed away, it was decided to make this a memorial race in his honor, and it was also the second leg of the Triple Crown Series for the group.

Sarale jumped into the lead at the start ahead of Danika Jo Parker of Oakdale and Ben Worth of Coalinga. On the fourth lap, the race came to a grinding halt when David Gasper of Santa Barbara flipped in Turn 4. Before the race even restarted, the USAC Midgets regular was able to rejoin the field at the back of the pack after quick repairs. Sarale continued to lead Parker on the restart, but Worth moved into second on Lap 6. 

The leaders caught heavy traffic by the 10th circuit, but the smooth driving Sarale held a straightaway advantage ahead of Worth at that point. Nikko Panella of Stockton slipped past Parker for second on Lap 17, but a yellow flag negated the pass. Sarale continued to lead Worth and Parker on the restart, but Panella moved into third by Lap 19. Moments later, Worth stalled in Turn 2 for a yellow flag as his race came to an end. 

Blaine Craft #35 came to rest next to the fence after his wild ride out the Turn 1 exit gate saw him flip over the K rail. He was not injured. Photo by Candice Martin

Sarale led Panella and the resurgent Gasper on the restart. However, a red flag waved on Lap 21 after a scary incident with another car sent Blaine Craft of Elk Grove out the Turn 1 exit gate, over the K rail and into the fence. Fortunately, he was not injured. Sarale continued to lead Panella and Gasper on the restart. Gasper was pressuring Panella for second before making the move on Lap 27. However, nobody was stopping Sarale as he sped home to victory ahead of Gasper, Panella, Blake Bower of Brentwood and Bryant Bell of Oakley.

Ken Johns #32 maintained his hold on second in points with his second Hobby Stock feature triumph. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Ken Johns won the 20 lap Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stock Main Event. This was his second win of the season as he maintains second in the championship standings.

Colten Haney of Brentwood set the early pace ahead of Kevin Brown of Oakley and Johns. Aidan Ponciano of Oakley briefly got by Johns for third, but Johns reclaimed the spot on Lap 3. Johns slipped past Brown for second on the sixth lap and made a Turn 4 pass on Lap 8 to take the lead from Haney. Hard charging Danny Wagner of Bay Point moved into fourth on Lap 6 after an opening lap spin and settled into third two laps later. 

Wagner overtook Haney for second in Turn 2 on Lap 9. Chris Long of Antioch moved into third on Lap 12 as Wagner was pressuring Johns for the lead. Wagner made a Turn 4 pass on Lap 17 to take over, only to see his pass negated by a yellow flag involving point leader Grayson Baca of Brentwood. 

Johns led the restart, but Wagner went low in Turn 1 on Lap 18 to again claim the lead. Wagner spun in Turn 1 with mechanical issues. Johns led the final restart and won ahead of Long, Ponciano, the resurgent Baca and Brown.

Danny Wagner #11 picked up his third Delta Dwarf Car Main Event victory. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Reigning Delta Dwarf Car champion Danny Wagner of Bay Point won his third 20 lap Main Event of the season in thrilling fashion. The recently crowned South Bay Dwarf Car champion made a last lap pass on point leader Chance Russell of Antioch to steal the victory.

The Dwarf Cars had a non-stop affair with Russell charging out to the early lead ahead of Wagner. Russell and Wagner began to pull ahead as Sean Catucci of Brentwood settled into third. Antioch’s David Michael Rosa moved into fourth and enjoyed a good battle with Catucci before getting by. As the race hit the stretch run, Wagner began to put serious pressure on Russell. 

The leaders caught slower traffic on Lap 18 with Wagner making an outside pass in Turn 2 to briefly grab second. However, Russell went motoring ahead down the back straightaway. As the leaders hit the final turn, Wagner made his move on the inside and beat Russell back to line in a drag race for the thrilling victory. Rosa ended up third ahead of Catucci and Eric Weisler of Campbell.

Tom Davis #75 scored his eighth win of the season in the West Coast Sport Compact race. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Tom Davis of Los Molinos won the 20 Lap House of Juju West Coast Sport Compact Main Event. This was his eighth win of the season at the track and first on the tour.

Austin Sprague of Merced took the early lead ahead of Chris Corder of Modesto and Tony Quinonez of Corning. Davis got past Quinonez for third on the second lap and slipped past Corder for second on Lap 3. Davis put the moves on Sprague in Turn 2 on Lap 6 to grab the lead. Reigning champion Tom Brown of Santa Rosa gained third on Lap 8 and set his sights on Sprague. Brown finally got by on Lap 16 with a Turn 4 pass. However, Davis had a comfortable advantage by then as he went on to victory. Sprague settled for third ahead of Dan Myrick of Coalinga and Corder.

Matt Land #91 made a late move to win the BCRA Lightning Sprint Main Event. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Matt Land of Elk Grove won the BCRA Lightning Sprint 20 lap Main Event with a late move around Series point leader Dakota Albright of Waterford. Albright broke the point lead wide open when rival Greg Dennett of Livermore scratched prior to the Main Event.

Albright took the early lead ahead of Land rookie Jason Schostag of Diamond Springs. On the 12th lap, Land spun in Turn 4 to fall back the third, but Schostag stalled at the Turn 1 exit gate for a yellow flag. On the restart, Land began to pressure Albright before making an inside pass on the front stretch on Lap 19 to take the lead. Land scored the thrilling victory ahead of Albright and Schostag.

Joel Hannagan drove the Junkyard Dog #16 Hardtop to his fifth win of the season. Photo by Katrina Kniss

Joel Hannagan of San Jose won the 15 lap Hardtop Main Event. This was the fifth win of the season for the point leader aboard the Doug Braudrick owned Junkyard Dog.

Brad Coello of Oakley took the early lead in the Tommy Thomson owned car, but Hannagan raced by on the inside down the front stretch a lap later to take over. Hannagan set a rapid pace and stretched his advantage to half a lap over Coelho by the time the race was over. Joe Shenefield of Modesto ended up third ahead of Ken Clifford of Antioch.

David Amsted and Jim DeJong brought their Vintage Midgets for some exhibition laps. The cars are a throwback to what represented the BCRA Midget class in the 1940s and 1950s.

The track takes a break for Labor Day weekend and returns on September 8th and 9th with the Malicious Monster Truck Insanity Tour. On September 15th and 16th, it will be Hall of Fame weekend with two nights of racing. For further information, go to

Antioch Speedway Race Results – August 26

BCRA Midgets 

FT-Ben Worth 14.298. Heat Winners (8 laps)-Ben Worth, Caden Sarale, Blake Bower. Main Event (30 laps)-Caden Sarale, David Gasper, Nikko Panella, Blake Bower, Bryant Bell, Danika Jo Parker, Michael Snider, Anthony Bruno, Marvin Mitchell, Floyd Alvis. 

Pacific Coast General Engineering Hobby Stocks 

Heat Winners (8 laps)-Aidan Ponciano, Chris Long. Main Event (20 laps)-Ken Johns, Chris Long, Aidan Ponciano, Grayson Baca, Kevin Brown, Breanna Troen, Charlie Bryant, Jess Paladino, Maddie Motts, John Keith. 


Heat Winner (6 laps)-Joel Hannagan. Main Event (15 laps)-Joel Hannagan, Brad Coello, Joe Shenefield, Ken Clifford, Bob Slaney DNS.

Delta Dwarf Cars

Heat Winners (8 laps)-Danny Wagner, David Michael Rosa. Main Event (20 laps)-Danny Wagner, Chance Russell, David Michael Rosa, Sean Catucci, Eric Weisler, Travis Day, Devan Kammermann, Mark Biscardi, David Rosa, Elie Russo.

BCRA Lightning Sprints 

Heat Winner (8 laps)-Greg Dennett. Main Event (20 laps)-Matt Land, Dakota Albright, Jason Schostag, Greg Dennett DNS, Chris Crowder DNS.

House of Juju West Coast Sport Compacts

Heat Winners (8 laps)-Tom Brown, Tom Davis. Main Event (20 laps)-Tom Davis, Tom Brown, Austin Sprague, Dan Myrick, Chris Corder, Tony Quinonez, Gene Glover, Kevin Thompson, Josh Applebaum, Rick Berry.

Volunteers needed for Stand Down on the Delta in Antioch Sept. 8-11

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023

Delta Veterans Group to serve homeless and other military veterans, members of the public

By J.R. Wilson, Founder/ President, Delta Veterans Group

The next Stand Down on the Delta will be held in September 8-11, 2023, at the Contra Costa Event Park (fairgrounds) located in Antioch, CA presented by Delta Veterans Group (DVG).

DVG was proud to bring the first homeless and at-risk of becoming homeless veteran “Stand Down on the Delta” of its kind to Contra Costa County in September 2015. Stand Down on the Delta was a four-day, three-night event in which veterans were provided full medical treatments, court and legal services, DMV, chaplain services, housing, addiction and mental health counseling, employment and a myriad of other community services. During the event, veterans were also provided with clothing, meals, showers, sleeping tents, live entertainment and a safe place to “stand down” for the duration.

We will do the same for our veterans, this year as well.

Volunteers are needed to help serve our military veterans because VETERANS SERVED THEIR COUNTRY AND VETERANS SERVE THEIR COMMUNITIES!

Most services on Saturday, Sept. 9 will be open to the general public. You do not need to be a veteran to receive services that day.

Veterans and volunteers can register and obtain more information by visiting

Delta Veterans Group is comprised of both veteran and civilian volunteers who wish to serve veterans in their community. We strive to bring our veterans the four pillars of success – Housing, Employment, Health and Education – one which will not work without the other three. Through the four pillars of success as a veteran myself, I was able to find peace and balance in my life, and a chance to bring about positive changes for veterans in our community. Our goal is simple – to bring together all of the Veteran Service Organizations in our communities and champion support for our nation’s finest men and women veterans.

Delta Veterans Group 501(c)3 was founded in Contra Costa County in 2012 by Army veteran J.R. Wilson, DVG has now grown to provide services to surrounding Northern California areas including Alameda, Monterey, Napa, San Joaquin, San Francisco, and Solano counties.

Suspect in road rage shooting of Antioch man arrested

Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
It is suspected Allen may have been involved in separate road rage shooting incidents using the above vehicle. Photos: CHP

Information sought on possible additional shootings

By Officer Ricardo Ortiz, PIO, CHP

SACRAMENTO, Calif.: On August 10, 2023, at around 11:00 PM, California Highway Patrol (CHP) South Sacramento Area officers were dispatched to a shooting with a victim struck by gunfire on State Route 160 (River Road) near the Isleton Bridge. The incident was the suspected result of a road rage incident.

The victim in this case, Quincy Chapple, a 25-year-old resident of Antioch, CA, was treated at the scene and transported to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, CA. Chapple received a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was released from the hospital.

The Valley Division Investigative Service Unit (ISU) responded and assumed investigative responsibility for the case.

During this investigation, investigators identified Timothy Lee Allen, a 21-year-old (born 6/21/02) West Sacramento, resident, as the suspect. Investigators obtained search warrants for Allen’s residence and his vehicle. The CHP SWAT and Valley Division Warrant Service Team served the warrants. A firearm, along with several hundred rounds of ammunition was recovered. Multiple spent ammunition cartridge cases were in Mr. Allen’s vehicle.

The 5-foot-11, 279 lb. Allen was arrested for several charges, which included attempted murder. Allen was booked into Sacramento County Jail. As of Tuesday, August 29, he was still in custody at the Main Jail and is ineligible for bail. His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 6 at 8:30 AM in Dept. 63 of the Sacramento County Superior Court.

Anyone with additional information is urged to call the CHP Valley Division ISU tip line at 916-731-6580, or email

The CHP’s mission is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service and Security.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center recognized for providing exceptional maternity care

Tuesday, August 29th, 2023

The California 2023 Maternity Care Honor Roll recognizes hospitals that met or surpassed the statewide target to reduce births via cesarean section in first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies

Sutter Delta Medical Center, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center also make list

By Antonia Ehlers, PR & Media Relations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center is one of 107 hospitals named to the California 2023 Maternity Care Honor Roll for meeting the statewide target of cesarean sections for low-risk births leading to improved health outcomes for mothers and their newborns.

Childbirth is the number one reason for hospitalization in the U.S., according to the California Health Care Foundation.  Overuse of C-sections can lead to serious health complications for both mother and baby and unnecessary C-sections are also considered a health equity issue since rates are higher among people of color.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California is a leader in innovative approaches to maternal care and is working to improve equity in maternal health. Our hospitals are among the best in the country for meeting rigorous standards for maternity care, including low C-section rates, elective early deliveries, and for following important protocols to safely protect new mothers and their babies.

As part of our comprehensive prenatal care, our care teams work closely with our patients to deliver high-quality maternity care and reduce the risk of complications. If pregnant patients have a high-risk pregnancy or a chronic condition such as high blood pressure, we tailor their care to reduce risks. And mothers who choose to breastfeed get the support they need to be successful.

Last year, 43,177 babies were delivered at Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals.

“Kaiser Permanente is a leader in providing exceptional maternity care that provides new families with the support they need,” said Pam Galley, senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser Permanente’s Diablo service area. “We are committed to providing our members and patients with high-quality, equitable maternal health care.”

The 107 hospitals on the honor roll represent half of all 211 California hospitals that offer maternity services and participate in the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative’s Maternal Data Center.

Reducing C-section rates starts with the culture of the hospital, involving changes to physician practice patterns, education of nurses, support staff and families, and implementation of new policies within the facility, according to Cal Hospital Compare, which publishes the maternity care honor roll.

“Our Kaiser Permanente clinicians are committed to providing the best outcomes for our families as they entrust us with their care,” said Sharon Mowat, MD, physician in chief at Kaiser Permanente’s Antioch Medical Center. “We strive every day to provide the support these new families need as they begin this life-changing journey.”

In 2015, the California Health and Human Services Agency began recognizing hospitals that meet the 23.9% statewide target of C-sections for low-risk births through its Maternity Honor Roll. Beginning this year, CHC changed the C-section rate threshold for honor roll hospitals from 23.9% to 23.6% to align with the Healthy People 2030 goals. This year’s award reflects calendar year 2022 hospital discharge and birth certificate data.

Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch and the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez also made the 2023 Honor Roll list For more information on the California 2023 Maternity Care Honor Roll visit

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

Kaiser Permanente issues statement on threatened strike

Sunday, August 27th, 2023

By Antonia Ehlers, PR & Media Relations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

Kaiser Permanente is the largest union-represented health care employer in the U.S. – with nearly 75 percent of our employees represented by unions. We are currently bargaining with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which represents about 88,000 employees in a variety of roles. The Coalition is part of our historic, 26-year-long Labor Management Partnership, the longest-lasting partnership of its kind in the country.

Kaiser Permanente is fully committed to reaching an agreement with the unions affiliated with the Coalition just as we have done in every national bargaining since 1999. 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. We are confident that we will reach an agreement that achieves that goal, before the contract expires on September 30. And we are confident that our new agreement will strengthen our position as a best place to work and ensure the high-quality care our members expect from us remains affordable and easy to access.

Strike Authorization Vote

Strike authorizations are a common bargaining pressure tactic that give union leaders the ability to call for a strike in the future. Throughout our negotiations we have seen Coalition leaders attempt to rally their unions’ members to threaten a strike despite important progress made through negotiations.

This tactic does not reflect any breakdown in bargaining, nor does it indicate a strike is imminent or will happen at all. It is a disappointing action considering our progress at the bargaining table. It does not reflect our commitment to reaching an agreement that ensures we can continue to provide market-competitive pay and outstanding benefits.

We urge our employees to reject any call for a strike and continue to focus on providing care and service to the patients who need them. We take any threat to disrupt care for our members seriously and have plans to ensure continued access to health care by our members, patients, and the communities we serve, should any union call for a strike. Our members, patients, and our communities need us to be there for them.

Allegations of Unfair Labor Practices

From the start, we have bargained in good faith to come to an agreement, working diligently in partnership to address the many complex issues at the table. This week, over the course of our sixth formal negotiation session since national bargaining began in April, we offered proposals on important issues including improvements to the performance sharing bonus plan (PSP) and an enterprise-wide guaranteed minimum wage for our Coalition-represented employees. In addition, committees met on staffing, operational savings, and local bargaining agreements.

As always, one of the key issues in this bargaining involves compensation and Kaiser Permanente has made clear we are standing by our proven commitment to provide market-competitive wages and excellent benefits. In fact, as a leading employer, our philosophy is to pay our employees above the local market, to attract and retain the best employees.

Bargaining is dynamic and involves give-and-take. Accusations from union leaders that Kaiser Permanente has not bargained in good faith are unfounded and counterproductive.

We take bargaining seriously and believe that our employees deserve market competitive wages and excellent benefits. We are hopeful union leaders will set aside the counterproductive tactics of this week, so we can focus on working together to deliver an agreement. We remain committed to bargaining with our Coalition unions in good faith and in the spirit of partnership. We will focus our energy on frank and productive discussions that lead to an agreement, and to doing our part to ensure there are no disruptions to the high-quality care we provide.


We, like all health care organizations, have experienced staffing challenges driven by the pandemic and its lasting effects. For healthcare systems this has been made worse by the backlog in care and the increase in needs and acuity we’re seeing across the country.

While Kaiser Permanente has experienced the same pressures, through diligent work and an unwavering commitment to our people, we have weathered these staffing challenges better than most health care organizations. Kaiser Permanente’s average employee turnover rate of 8.5 percent, as of June 2023, is significantly lower than the rate of 21.4 percent across health care. Talented people who recognize the value of our current wage and benefit offerings want to work at Kaiser Permanente, which is why about 96 percent of candidates for Coalition-represented positions accept our employment offers—significantly above the industry average.

Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition have agreed to work together to accelerate hiring, and we set a joint goal in bargaining of hiring 10,000 new people for Coalition-represented jobs in 2023. Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to date have resulted in more than 6,500 positions filled, and we are aggressively recruiting to fill more.

Our staffing approach reflects our shared commitment to ensure every Kaiser Permanente patient receives extraordinary care, every time and in every place.

Wages and Benefits

We are leaders in employee wages and benefits, and we have reiterated our commitment in bargaining to continuing to provide market-competitive wages and outstanding benefits. In fact, our philosophy is to deliver compensation that provides wages above the local market (up to 10 percent above market) to attract and retain the best employees.

Kaiser Permanente also offers employees opportunities to learn new skills and grow their careers, and we’re committed to providing a safe and equitable work environment. In addition, we want to ensure that we help our employees build long-term economic security with low-cost health insurance, industry-leading retirement plans, and other benefit programs to support their health and well-being.

It’s also worth remembering that during the pandemic, we took extraordinary steps to support and protect our workforce, and to support their mental as well as physical health. We provided $800 million in employee assistance to ensure that front-line employees had access to alternate housing options, special child care grants, and additional paid leave for COVID-19 illness and exposure.

The unions’ current negotiating position is that wage increases should not be market-based. This prevents us from addressing wage disparities that exist in in many of Kaiser Permanente’s markets where, for some jobs, wages are significantly higher than our targeted wage level, and in other cases our employees’ wages are below other competitors in the market, impacting our ability to attract and retain the best people.

While being a best-in-class employer is a fundamental part of who we are, we cannot continue a national approach for determining wages and ignore local market conditions. We also have a responsibility to make health care more affordable for our patients, members, and customers, including government agencies. For many families and businesses, health care costs are increasingly unaffordable, and growing. Wages and benefits make up about half the cost of health care, across the country. We must work together with unions on the critical goal of ensuring that health care remains affordable.

We are committed to our philosophy of providing market-competitive pay and excellent benefits, and we’ve made that clear in bargaining. We are committed to addressing areas where staffing is challenging, and we are making great progress. And we are committed to doing all this while striving to help health care be more affordable.

Labor’s next big fight in the Bay Area: Largest single-employer union negotiation in the U.S. inches closer to strike

Sunday, August 27th, 2023

85,000 Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers to hold strike authorization vote Monday over what they claim are unfair labor practices, say chronic under-staffing is driving a growing patient care crisis

By Renée Saldaña, Press Secretary, SEUI – United Healthcare Workers West

A strike may be looming at one of the nation’s largest employers.

On Monday August 28, Kaiser workers in California, including Antioch, will start to vote to authorize a strike over unfair labor practices. The voting ends September 12th.   The unions will strike dates soon after we get the results of the vote. The contract expires for a large bulk of the Kaiser workers in the coalition (58,000) on September 30th, so a strike could potentially start as early as October 1.

We are expecting a majority of the workers to vote in favor of a strike. We will keep you posted on any other developments.

On Thursday, August 24, healthcare workers employed by Kaiser Permanente announced details of a potential strike authorization vote at a hybrid in-person and virtual press conference.

Following the UPS labor settlement with the Teamsters, the labor negotiations covering 85,000 Kaiser healthcare workers – represented by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions – have now become the largest single-employer labor negotiations occurring in the United States. The Coalition unites healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente facilities in California, Colorado, Oregon, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington.

At issue, healthcare workers say, are a series of unfair labor practices related to contract bargaining, along with simmering staff concerns related to unsafe staffing levels that can lead to dangerously long wait times, mistaken diagnosis, and neglect.

If Kaiser executives don’t take swift action to rectify the unfair labor practices that detailed at the press conference, workers say they’ll have no choice but to strike. Workers also say the company needs to immediately and substantively address the growing care crisis at its hospitals and clinics.

Barring a breakthrough in the ongoing negotiations including a resolution of the unfair labor practices in question, the healthcare workers announced the strike authorization vote date and plans.

“Kaiser cannot keep bargaining in bad faith and committing unfair labor practices. Kaiser is facing chronic under-staffing because workers can’t afford to live in LA on the low wages they pay us,” said Miriam de la Paz, a unit secretary at Kaiser Permanente in Downey, California. “If Kaiser’s millionaire executives won’t work with us on a plan to hire more people so we can give every patient the attention they deserve, we’re prepared to vote for an unfair labor practice strike.”

“We want Kaiser to stop committing unfair labor practices, and bargain in good faith. It’s heartbreaking to see our patients suffer from long wait times for the care they need, all because Kaiser won’t put patient and worker safety first,” said Paula Coleman, a clinical laboratory assistant at Kaiser Permanente in Englewood, Colorado. “We will have no choice but to vote to strike if Kaiser won’t let us give patients the quality care they deserve.”

“Our patients expect more from a healthcare system that reported $3 billion in profits in the first half of this year alone, and so do we,” said Nahid Bokaee, a Pharmacist in Sterling, Virginia. “Kaiser can afford to end this dangerous understaffing, but they choose not to. For the sake of our patients and our colleagues, we’re prepared to authorize a strike because Kaiser cannot keep bargaining in bad faith and committing unfair labor practices.”


The Kaiser healthcare workers are members of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which represents more than 85,000 healthcare workers in seven states and the District of Columbia. In April, the Coalition began its national bargaining process. The Coalition and Kaiser Permanente last negotiated a contract in 2019, before healthcare workers found themselves on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic that has worsened working conditions and exacerbated a healthcare staffing crisis.

Tensions have been rising as the workers’ contract expiration looms. Earlier this month tens of thousands of healthcare workers picketed Kaiser hospitals across the U.S. to protest the company’s growing care crisis.

Workers say that Kaiser is committing unfair labor practices and also that under-staffing is boosting Kaiser’s profits but hurting patients. In a recent survey of 33,000 employees, two-thirds of workers said they’d seen care delayed or denied due to short staffing. After three years of the COVID pandemic and chronic understaffing, healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente are calling on management to provide safe staffing levels.

Even as some frontline healthcare heroes live in their cars and patients wait longer for care, Kaiser released new financials this month indicating they made ​​$3 billion in profit in just the first six months of this year. Despite being a non-profit organization – which means it pays no income taxes on its earnings and extremely limited property taxes – Kaiser has reported more than $24 billion in profit over the last five years. Kaiser’s CEO was compensated more than $16 million in 2021, and forty-nine executives at Kaiser are compensated more than $1 million annually. Kaiser Permanente has investments of $113 billion in the US and abroad, including in fossil fuels, casinos, for-profit prisons, alcohol companies, military weapons and more.