Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

1300 Kaiser Nurses Begin So Cal Strike Today

The strike is scheduled to last 4 days and involves the nurses' call for improved staffing

 

Kaiser has had disputes with its employee's unions, faced civil and criminal charges for patient dumping, faced action by regulators over the quality of care it provided, especially to patients with mental health issues, and has faced criticism from activists and action from regulators over the size of its cash reserves

A strike by 1,300 registered nurses begins today at Kaiser's Los Angeles hospital. The strike is scheduled to last 4 days and involves the nurses' call for improved staffing. California Nurses Association/National Nurses United claims Kaiser made profits of $1.9 billion last year, money which should be invested in hiring more nurses and "protect economic gains." In other words, they want a raise.

"Kaiser spends millions of dollars advertising that Los Angeles Medical Center is a world class Tertiary Care Center...Yet on most days we do not have a sufficient number of nurses to take care of our patients," said Tessie Costales, a nurse with 30 years at the hospital. "This needs to change." Nurses complain that short staffing means they cannot take breaks and this affects patient care. Also affected by short staffing is the Pediatric Care unit.

 

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