San Jose, Good Samaritan Hospital Nurse Picketâ€” WEDNESDAY
Contract Talks Heat Up as RNs Fight to Maintain Community Standard at Hospital
SAN JOSE— Registered nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital and Regional Medical Center in San Jose will hold a picket and rally at the facility Wednesday to call public attention to their efforts to stand up for their patients and for the future of their hospitals, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) announced today.
The RNs at Good Samaritan and Regional Medical Center of San Jose, affiliates of the for-profit Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), have been in bargaining for a new contract for several months. The collective bargaining agreement for the 1,500 RNs represented by CNA/NNU expired on June 30, 2012, and has been extended several times. The current contract is set to expire on September 30.
“The nurses are pushing back on what they view as an effort by hospital officials to erode standards in patient care and in the manner in which the hospital can compete for trained and experienced nurses in the area. Eliminating longstanding healthcare and pension benefits will have a direct impact on the quality of our hospital and our ability to recruit new RNs,” said Dorothy Higgins, a critical care unit RN at Regional Medical Center of San Jose for more than 30 years.
What: Good Samaritan RN Informational Picket
When: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 1:00 p.m.—2:00 p.m.
Where: Good Samaritan Hospital and Regional Medical Center
2425 Samaritan Drive, San Jose, CA 95124
“Our patients deserve the best healthcare and so do the nurses,” said Malinda Markowitz, an RN who works on a medical floor at Good Samaritan Hospital, and is a co-president of CNA/NNU. “We are rejecting management proposals that will reduce patient care protections and eliminate the nurses’ retirement security. We believe this would put us below the community standard for area hospitals’ and given our hospitals financial well being is shortsighted. We will lose our experienced nurses which will reduce our patients and our community’s access to the most skilled nurses.”
Patient Care Protections Proposals:
- Safe RN-to-patient staffing ratios: RNs want staffing to include coverage that maintains ratios consistent with court decision “at all times”. The nurses cite missing breaks due to lack of staffing and want the ratios written into their contract to ensure compliance.
- Designated charge nurse on every unit free of patient care assignment to allow full coordination of patient needs: Currently charge nurses are doing break and meal relief for nurses on their unit for half the shift. The charge nurse must be free of a patient care assignment and have a comprehensive view of the flow and condition of all patients in and out of the unit in order to determine staffing needs. The RNs believe that a charge nurse cannot adequately coordinate care properly while also doing break relief.
- Trained lift teams at all times to safely move and transport patients without harm or injury to nurses: The nurses propose to incorporate the Safe Lift Team Law, AB1136 into the contract that requires providing equipment and training. There are currently no designated lift teams and nurses report not having equipment available when needed. According to national studies, nurses, who are often lifting large patients without proper assistance, incur more back and neck injuries than truck drivers.
Negotiations between the CNA/NNU nurse negotiating team and Good Samaritan and Regional Medical Center’s management are scheduled for September 27 and 28.