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Saint John’s Nurses To Picket Thursday

Santa Monica Dispatch, 2/14/12

Peggy Clifford, Editor
February 14, 2012 (Santa Monica Dispatch) 

On Thursday, from 8 to 11 a.m., Saint John’s Hospital nurses will hold an informational picket on Santa Monica Boulevard between 23rd and 20th Streets.

It’s been nearly nine months since RNs won union representation. To this point, they have proposed over 100 possible bargaining dates, but hospital officials have only agreed to 13.

RNs have asked that RN-to-patient ratios be included in the contract so they can enforce safe patient care standards directly, but management insists on language that would make Saint John’s the only hospital in the area to use lesser-licensed LVNs in the ratios in order to save money.

On January 31, about 60 RNs attended contract negotiations to ask Saint John’s managers to stop stalling and begin to respect RNs. The hospital’s officials responded by saying that RNs don’t belong at their own contract negotiations.

Ten years ago, RNs opted against union representation when management promised that it was going to pay its nurses more than any hospital on the West Side. Today, it pays its nurses less than any hospital on the West Side.

14 years ago, in a development agreement with the City, the hospital agreed to build an underground parking structure as part of a massive construction project. It has yet to build it.

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