Nurses Protest Eroding Patient Care Standards at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
California Nurses Association Press Release, 11/19/13
Candlelight Vigil – Weds. 5:30 pm
Registered Nurses at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital (STCH) will hold a candlelight vigil to protest eroding patient care conditions and management’s unwillingness to take serious action at the bargaining table to rectify those conditions.
Safe patient care has been a key focus in contract negotiations between Sutter management and the nurses who voted in March 2012 to affiliate with the California Nurses Association,the state’s largest organization of RNs. The issues that prompted the organizing persist today including: safe staffing levels during meals and breaks, peak hours, admissions and emergency situations, having a voice in the delivery of patient care and competitive pay and health care benefits to assure the recruitment and retention of the best nurses at STCH. The RNs are also concerned about Sutter Tracy's plans to reduce patient access by cutting patient beds.
“As the only Emergency Room in Tracy, the community really depends on us. We’re concerned with Sutter’s plan to remove 30 patient beds on the medical floor in the medical/surgical and telemetry units,” said Dotty Nygard, RN Emergency. “Patients will end up being held in the ER because of limited patient beds, or patients could be diverted to other hospitals, resulting in a delay to patient care,” said Nygard.
What: Nurses Hold Candlelight Vigil to Protest Eroding Patient Care Standards
When: Wednesday Nov. 20, 5:30 pm
Where: Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
1420 N. Tracy Blvd, Tracy, CA
“Nurses want management to know that the patients and RNs at STCH deserve better. The community deserves the best care provided by a dedicated and qualified staff,” said Candice Meservy, RN Surgery. “Sutter Tracy is experiencing a shortage of skilled RNs, and we need to address that in our contract by standards that support recruitment and retention,” said Meservy.
“The RNs at STCH voted overwhelmingly last year to unionize with the California Nurses Association because we felt that it was important to have a voice to advocate for our patients without fear of reprimand,” said Victoria Lat, RN Med Surg. “Now that we have CNA, management continues to try to override our voice at the bargaining table by not being responsive to what we need to deliver safe patient care,” said Lat.
The Sutter Tracy RNs are bargaining for patient protection provisions that already exist in CNA-represented hospitals throughout the state including the recently ratified agreement covering 12,000 RNs at major UC medical centers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento (UC Davis), San Diego, and Irvine, as well as UC student health centers in Berkeley, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. This is the third major settlement for CNA/NNU since August following agreements earlier this year with Sutter Health and Dignity Health hospitals protecting standards for over 27,000 California and Nevada RNs. Among the achievements of the various pacts – reversing concessionary spirals seen for far too many workers, protecting retirement security and achieving breakthrough patient care and other gains.
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