Press Release

Registered Nurses Plan Pickets Sept. 25 to Protest Eroding Patient Care Conditions at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica and Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro

No Cuts in Patient Services

Registered nurses will hold informational pickets to protest eroding patient care conditions at two hospitals owned by Providence St. Joseph Health system, the Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro and St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.

“Our community has relied on St. John’s for extraordinary maternity care but now severe understaffing and management’s refusal to invest in the recruitment and retention of nurses is undermining our ability to care for our patients,” said Lizabeth Baker-Wade, RN Labor and Delivery Unit. “Management is ignoring that we have a much higher volume of high-risk maternity patients in labor and delivery and the recent changes in ancillary staff also make it very difficult for nurses to take care of our tiniest patients, our newborns.”

What: RNs Informational Picket at Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro
When: Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. 8:00 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Where: Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro - in front of the statue of
St. Peter, Apostle and Fisherman, 1300 W. 7th Street, San Pedro, Cal.

What: RNs Informational Pickets at St. John’s Health Center
When: Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: St. John’s Health Center, 2121 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, Cal.

“We are holding the pickets to send a message: It’s time to focus on recruiting and retaining front-line nursing staff and care givers, and stop focusing only on the bottom line,” said Wade.

Nurses at both hospitals are in contract negotiations and of key concern to RNs is the high level of staff attrition and both hospitals’ dependence on regularly rotating RNs from unit to unit, to temporarily plug staffing holes. The hospitals’ conduct this practice, known as “floating,” without providing adequate training and preparation for nurses being shifted outside of their unit of expertise and experience. Nurses are calling on the hospitals to stop the high level of attrition by investing in recruitment and retention of nursing staff.

“We want the hospital to address the staffing crisis by focusing on recruitment and retention, rather than playing musical chairs with staff and patients, floating nurses in and out of units without adequate preparation,” said Julia Lopez, an RN in the ICU at Little Company of Mary San Pedro. “They have the resources to operate the hospital in a manner that optimizes safe, quality care and that’s what we are committed to achieving.”   

The contract for the 600 nurses at St. John’s expired on July 25, 2018 and that of the 300 RNS at Little Company of Mary San Pedro, expired on Dec. 31, 2017.  In 2017, the parent company of both hospitals, the non-profit Providence St. Joseph Health System, made $780 million dollars in excess of their expenses.

The California Nurses Association has 100,000 members statewide and is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest- and fastest-growing union of RNs in the nation. CNA/NNU has won landmark health and safety protections for nurses and patients in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease, and workplace violence protection.