- On Tuesday, 1,200 registered nurses walked out of Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles, beginning what's expected to be a one-week strike.
- The nurses, who recently joined the California Nurses Association (CNA) union, are demanding improvements in patient care staffing and economic benefits, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
- Hospitals officials called the move an attempt to influence contract negotiations by disrupting patient care.
CNA maintains nurses’ wages have been frozen at the hospital and patient care provisions in the contract should be strengthened to align other contracts between the union and Kaiser.
The nurses also contend the group’s plan to open a medical school in Pasadena beggar for enhanced benefits.
“If Kaiser is planning on using this medical center as it’s 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 and provide for a fair contract for nurses,” Aisha Ealey, a neonatal intensive care nurse at the hospital, said in a statement.
Last year, CNA organized one-day nursing walkouts at five Sutter Health hospitals in northern California. The strikes were in response to proposed cutbacks in healthcare coverage and inadequate staffing.
In a 2015 survey by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), eight in 10 RNs said insufficient hospital staffing is affecting patient care. The MNA has lobbied for a state law establishing nurse-to-patient ratios in various hospital units — something only California currently has.
A separate survey by the Leapfrog Group found 40% of hospital respondents failed to meet all 21 endorsed safe practice standards related to nursing workforce.