More than 1,700 RNs to Strike in Los Angeles Next Week
Safe Patient Care Staffing, Retention of RNs Key Issues Walkout at Kaiser’s LA Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospitals
Registered nurses at Kaiser Permanante’s flagship Los Angeles Medical Center will hold a seven-day strike beginning Wednesday, March 15. Concurrently, RNs at Good Samaritan Hospital in downtown Los Angeles, will strike for one day on March 16, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses announced today.
At both hospitals, the nurses are seeking a collective bargaining agreement that addresses significant concerns about safe patient care staffing, as well as economic improvements to assure the hospitals can retain experienced RNs and recruit new nurses. The walkout will affect 1,200 RNs at Kaiser, and 540 RNs at Good Samaritan
Los Angeles Medical Center (Kaiser Permanente). Seven-day strike, March 15-March 22, 4867 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles.
Good Samaritan. One-day strike, March 16, 1225 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
“We are embarrassed by the lack of resources Kaiser is putting into this hospital,” said Aisha Ealey, a neo-natal intensive care unit RN at LAMC. “If Kaiser is planning on using this medical center as its teaching hospital for their Medical School, it is critical to improve patient care conditions especially for our region’s sickest babies and kids, end floating (the assignment of RNs to areas outside their expertise) and provide for a fair contract for nurses.”
LAMC is the hub for specialty services such as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation, a procedure for high-risk patients and is the regional high-risk center for young children with cancer. Nurses are calling on Kaiser to invest in this regional specialty center and settling a fair contract with strong patient care provisions similar to what Kaiser has previously agreed in the CNA contract for 18,000 nurses in California.
At Good Samaritan, nurses are concerned with safe staffing at all times, including the ability to take meal and rest breaks without leaving patients with proper access to registered nursing care. The RNs are also protesting the hospital’s demand for reductions in pensions and a substandard wage proposal.
“Over a short period of time we have witnessed an ongoing reduction in safe patient care staffing at our hospital,” said Good Samaritan RN Sussette Nacorda. “RNs are being cancelled from duty. We are often, unlawfully, working outside of the legal nurse to patient ratios and our meals and breaks are not being adequately covered. We fear that due to low RN morale and high stress due to poor staffing, we will not be able to recruit and retain the excellent nurses our patients deserve.”
Despite making over $12 billion in profit over the past six years, Kaiser has frozen wages for nurses at the region’s tertiary center. The LAMC RNs who held a two-day strike last May and voted to join CNA/NNU in July are seeking their first CNA contract.
“Kaiser LAMC prides itself on being the tertiary flagship center for the Southern California region and has expanded services here in the past few years, but it is hard to provide quality care while we are constantly short staffed,” said Joel Briones, a coronary care unit RN at LAMC. “Our patients deserve better. With billions in profits, the nurses are insisting Kaiser settle a contract that reflect our role as patient advocates for the region.”