2,500 nurses and medical staff at Kaiser Permanente facilities in Southern California went on strike Wednesday. The workers are represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, who has been negotiating with Kaiser for the past eighteen months. 17,000 other nurses represented by the California Nurses Association planned to hold a 24-hour sympathy strike on Thursday while the NUHW strike continued. The union says that the most important issues are pension and health care benefits, as well as the say of the workers in personnel decisions like staffing levels. Kaiser says that the union has not responded to their last offer, which was made in April. The union says that the strike will continue through Friday, and the hospitals have filled postilions for that time period so that patient care will not be disrupted.