Little Company RNs to Hold Informational Picket Tues. June 9
Nurses, community rally to draw attention to staffing, safety issues at hospital
In response to myriad issues impacting patient safety, registered nurses at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro will stand with the community at an informational picket and rally on Tuesday, June 9, California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.
“Our nurses are committed to illuminating the serious issues management has failed to address; they are putting patients’ health and safety on the line,” says Julie Cullen, RN. “Tuesday’s picket is a way to take these issues beyond the hospital walls, so that our voices can unite with the voices of the community, calling for change—because that’s what our patients deserve.”
What: Informational picket with RNs, community
When: Tuesday, June 9; 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Where: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro, 1300 W. 7th, San Pedro, CA 90732
The Little Company nurses, who have been working without a contract since April 1, say that after just ten contract bargaining sessions, management has walked away from the table, refusing to bargain in good faith about issues that impact patient care, including:
- Safe staffing – RNs maintain that staffing in the hospital must improve to reflect the mandatory safe nurse-to-patient ratios required by the Nursing Practice Act. As things stand, nurses say, the hospital is not adequately taking into account patient acuity (level of sickness) in assignments, and nurses are also being “floated” from lower level care units without the necessary in-service orientation and direct observation by a qualified RN to validate their competency. Little Company RNs say that, to the benefit of their patients, these practices must stop.
- Risking RN/patient injuries – Recent legislation requires lift teams be available, but the hospital has refused to assign teams, increasing injury risk to both patients and staff.
- Failing to retain skilled RNs – While the hospital has boasted record profits in recent years, nurses are being asked to shoulder a series of takeaways, including healthcare benefit cuts, elimination of sick leave, and a cut in PTO accrual. Along with other issues, such as lack of adequate meal and rest period breaks, experienced RNs are leaving for other facilities that offer better working conditions. This leaves an experience gap, nurses say, where new grad hires simply do not have the skills of the longtime RNs that patients deserve.
“Our hope is that management will listen to our concerns and return to the bargaining table ready to uphold the best possible patient care,” says Phyllis Whitmore, RN. “We invite the community to join us on June 9 to call for management to do just that.”