RNs Begin 7-Day Strike at Kaiser's LA Flagship Hospital

Buoyed by Letter of Support from Bernie Sanders for 1,200 RNs

Safe Patient Care Staffing, Retention of RNs Key Issues

Mar 15, 2016, 13:22 ET from California Nurses Association/National Nurses United

LOS ANGELES, March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente's flagship Los Angeles Medical Center begin a seven-day strike this morning with a focus on improving staffing to protect patient care and achieving economic gains to retain experienced RNs and boost recruitment of new nurses.

The walkout affects 1,200 RNs, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United who are seeking their first CNA collective bargaining contract.  

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.
  • 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

"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."

On Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a leading candidate for President, voiced support for the LAMC RNs with a letter to LAMC executive director William Grice urging the hospital "to bargain in good faith" with the nurses "for a fair contract that values their role in providing high quality health care" and agree to a fair contract "as soon as possible."

"With this call, Sen. Sanders is demonstrating once again that he is the strongest advocate of workers as they advocate for the broader public interest – in the case of nurses, public health and safety – as well as for their own working conditions and livelihood," said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of NNU and CNA.

"We are enormously grateful for the support of Bernie Sanders for recognizing the value of nurses, and once again standing tall for workers in Los Angeles as he has stood for nurses and workers across the U.S.," said LAMC RN Gus Matta.

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 settling 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.

"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."

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.   


SOURCE California Nurses Association/National Nurses United