LOS ANGELES, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente's flagship Los Angeles Medical Center will hold a seven-day strike beginning Tuesday, March 15.
The walkout affects 1,200 RNs who voted to join the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United last July, and are now seeking their first CNA collective bargaining contract. They are seeking an agreement that resolves significant concerns about safe patient care staffing, as well as economic improvements to assure the hospitals can retain experienced RNs and recruit new nurses.
RNs at Good Samaritan Hospital in downtown Los Angeles, reached a tentative agreement on a new contract late Thursday and cancelled a plan to also strike next week. The pact must be ratified by the RNs, who will vote on the agreement Wednesday, March 16.
Los Angeles Medical Center (Kaiser Permanente) strike schedule
- Seven-day strike, March 15-March 22, 4867 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Pickets go up 7 a.m., Tuesday, March 15.
- Monday, March 14: RNs prepare final picket signs, 1 p.m., CNA Glendale office, 225 W. Broadway, Glendale, Suite 500
- Tuesday, March 15: Rally, 12:30 p.m. on strike line, 4867 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
- Thursday, March 17: Rally, 11 a.m. at Kaiser Southern California corporate offices, 393 E Walnut St., Pasadena
- Monday, March 21: Rally, 12:30 p.m. on strike line, 4867 Sunset 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 settle 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.
Despite making over $14.4 billion in profit over the past six years, Kaiser has frozen wages for nurses at the region's tertiary center.
"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 reflects our role as patient advocates for the region."
Nurses are also condemning Kaiser for opening a medical school when they have failed to adequately provide the proper staffing and resources for the community. In order to be a training ground for doctors, there must be safe staffing conditions, say the RNs.
Across town at Good Samaritan, the RNs succeeded in persuading hospital officials to withdraw demands for huge out of pocket increases in their health coverage and retirement plan. The agreement affects some 540 RNs.
The pact also provides for improved mechanisms for the RNs to address staffing concerns with management, and across the board pay increases of up to 20 percent over three years.
SOURCE California Nurses Association/National Nurses United