Press Release

Long Beach RNs Prepare for One-Day Strike on Thursday, Dec. 22

Media Availability and Photo Op
December 16, 2011

Nurses Make Picket Signs Monday 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Patient care issues, cuts in healthcare coverage central

LONG BEACH— Registered nurses from Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach preparing to go on strike for one day on Dec. 22 will be making picket signs on Monday, Dec. 19 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and are available to the media for interviews during that time.

The RNs are striking over safe RN-to-patient staffing ratios and sweeping increases in healthcare premiums.  

The one-day strike will affect 2,000 RNs at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, which is California’s second-largest private hospital. Also, 4,000 RNs who work at eight Bay Area hospitals that are part of the Sutter corporation will be on strike that day.

What: Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital RNs prepare picket signs in advance of strike
When: Monday, Dec. 19, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: Teamsters Local 848, 3888 Cherry, Long B

Long Beach RNs have been working without a contract since Sept. 30 and held a candlelight vigil attended by more than 400 RNs last month to emphasize their concerns.

Nurses are particularly alarmed about their inability to take meal and rest breaks, during which the hospital frequently does not have sufficient staff to meet minimum safety standards required by California law. The nurses want the hospital to provide additional RNs to guarantee nurses can safely take their breaks without worrying about their patients safety, or having to continue working without breaks while fatigued and more prone to making mistakes.

Another contentious issue is lift practices. The RNs want the hospital to assure a safe patient lift policy to reduce the large numbers of musculoskeletal injuries among nurses and other staff, and to limit patient falls, accidents, and pressure ulcers.
The one-day Bay Area walkout will affect Alta Bates Summit Medical Center facilities in Berkeley and Oakland, Mills-Peninsula Health Services hospitals in Burlingame and San Mateo, Eden Medical Center hospitals in Castro Valley and San Leandro, Sutter Delta in Antioch, and Sutter Solano in Vallejo.