St. Rose Hospital RNs in Hayward Ready to Strike to Stop Erosion in Patient Care Standards
Registered nurses at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward have authorized a strike, if necessary, to protest management's stalling in negotiations for a first contract and refusing to address issues that are fundamental to quality patient care.
The RNs voted unanimously this past Friday to authorize their nurse bargaining team to call a strike, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) announced today. No strike date has been set at this time.
St. Rose RNs voted to affiliate with CNA/NNU in 2012 and since that time they have bargained in good faith to address concerns regarding conditions at St. Rose. The nurses and their bargaining team have focused on standards that also address the retention and recruitment of experienced RNs. Management, in turn, is attempting to extract almost a dozen concessions on standards that have been in place for many years.
"With the results of our vote we are sending a clear message to managment that the nurses of St. Rose are not afraid to strike for patient safety," said Tricia Munoz, RN.
RNs at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward after authorizing to strike, if necessary.
"Our vote is a loud and proud announcement to the community that we are here for our patients," said Pat Mathews, RN. "We will not accept second rate standards for our patients and the community we serve."
Among the outstanding issues:
- Failure to provide adequate training to RNs who are caring for patients undergoing highly specialized medical procedures such as neurosurgery.
- Chronic short staffing in all units.
- Requiring RNs to work overtime, through their breaks and on weekends.
- Additional policies that contribute to St. Rose's high rate of attrition of experienced RNs including the lack of a cost of living increase in five years and proposed salary and sick leave pay reductions to rates far below those in other area hospitals.
"Management proposals will affect our hospital's ability to recruit and retain a skilled nursing workforce, which will in turn have a direct impact on the type of care and safe environment we can provide to our patients," said Angelanne Fernandez, RN. "Taking away from the nurses ultimately takes away from patients, and that is something we just can't accept!"