More than 12,000 California RNs to Strike June 10

Update: Rallies Scheduled from Sacramento to San Diego

Nurses Cite Concern over Safe Patient Care Staffing

Jun 04, 2010, 18:43 ET from California Nurses Association

OAKLAND, Calif., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 12,000 California registered nurses remain scheduled to strike for 24 hours next Thursday, most of them at University of California hospitals, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.

The strike will affect RNs at the large UC medical centers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, and Irvine, UC student health centers in Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Riverside, and Santa Barbara, and at three non-UC hospitals in Los Angeles County, Citrus Valley Medical Center, Covina, Little Company of Mary Medical Center, San Pedro, and Marina del Rey Medical Center.

Strike notices have been cancelled at three small hospitals, Olympia Medical Center, Brotman Medical Center, both in Los Angeles, and Dameron Hospital in Stockton,  where nurses had also planned to participate in  a one-day walkout.

At the center of the strike is safe nurse-to-patient staffing, which is critical to both patient safety and retention of experienced RNs and recruitment of new nurses.  

"UC administrators have repeatedly shown an arrogant disregard of the nurses' serious concerns about ensuring safe staffing for UC patients at all times, and even refused to meet the recommendations of a neutral fact-finder chosen jointly by the University and CNA," said Beth Kean, CNA's UC Division Director. "It is unconscionable that the University continues to drag its heels in resolving this core issue of staffing."

At UC Davis, for example, internal staffing documentation from last year found that one-third of the shifts were short one or more RNs in each unit than what was required by the individual patient acuities on those shifts.

"We are often short staffed and there is no break relief coverage," said Shirley Toy, an RN and member of the bargaining team at UC Davis. "We need break relief RNs on every shift on every unit. Our patients deserve uninterrupted patient care when RNs are on break or lunch."

UC San Francisco RN Maureen Dugan criticized administrators for failing to meet their own commitments to improve staffing. "Nurses are at the core, the heart of care at UCSF. Yet every day we fight to get basic resources to do our job. We extend ourselves again and again to meet every major and minor need of all our patients. Clearly, the University is not interested in negotiating or working with it's RNs to resolve our differences," Dugan said.  

"Nurses give everything we have to our patients," said Valerie Verity-Mock, an RN at Citrus Valley Medical Center, and a bargaining team member.  

Major strike rallies scheduled June 10

CNA today also announced plans for major rallies at many of the strike lines on Thursday.

All the UC rallies will be at 12 noon, with the nurses joined by other unions representing UC employees, as well as elected officials and community leaders.  

UC rally sites:

UCLA-Westwood, 757 Westwood Plaza

UCSF-Parnassus, 505 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco

UC San Diego, Hillcrest. 200 West Arbor Dr.

UC Davis. 2315 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento

UC Irvine, 101 The City Drive South, Orange

UC Berkeley, 2222 Bancroft Way

UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street

UC Riverside, Campus Health Center

UC Santa Barbara, Student Health Service

Other hospital rallies:

Citrus Valley, 210 West San Bernardino Road, Covina, 3 p.m.

Little Company of Mary, 1300 West 7th St.,  San Pedro, 1:30 p.m.

SOURCE California Nurses Association