LOS ANGELES, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 5,000 registered nurses are set to strike this week at eight California hospitals with a particular focus of calling on hospitals to stop endangering patients by implementing safe staffing levels and taking steps to retain experienced RNs.
Management demands for cuts in health coverage for RNs and their families are also a major focus for nurses at many of the hospitals, especially RNs who work for the Sutter Health chain.
Strikes are scheduled to begin Thursday, April 30. RNs will strike for two days, April 30 and May 1 at Kaiser Permanente's major Los Angeles Medical Center.
One-day walkouts are planned April 30 at five Sutter hospitals in Northern California in Auburn, Burlingame/San Mateo, Roseville, Santa Rosa, and Tracy. On Friday, May 1, RNs will be on strike for one-day two Los Angeles hospitals, in Torrance, Little Company of Mary Medical Center, and Santa Monica, Saint John's Health Center that are part of the Providence Health chain.
Hospital executives have threatened to prolong the dispute with punitive lockouts, preventing RNs from returning to work for several days after the short strikes.
National Nurses United and its California affiliate, the California Nurses Association, are calling the strikes.
"Across the country, nurses are unified in insisting that hospitals improve RN staffing which far too often is compromising patient safety and other patient protections," said NNU Co-President Karen Higgins, RN.
Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center RNs will be protesting chronic short staffing at their hospital which they say regularly leads to delays in care, patients being held in the ER for hours or days at a time, increased risk of patient falls and accidents, and an inability of RNs to take needed meal and rest breaks because of inadequate staffing.
At the Sutter hospitals, nurses also cite persistent short staffing that puts patients at risk. Sutter is also demanding 130 reductions in health coverage for RNs and their families that would mean huge increases in out-of-pocket costs for ER care, lab work, diagnostic procedures and other care.
Providence RNs note that inadequate staffing and other patient care and economic concerns have contributed to a substantial loss of experienced RNs that undermines quality of care for patients.
SOURCE National Nurses United