Thousands of California Nurses To Strike Over Low Staffing Levels
Nearly 13,000 California nurses plan to hold a one-day strike on June 10 unless they reach contract agreements with hospitals, the nurses announced Friday, the AP/Los Angeles Times reports.
The strike -- which is scheduled to coincide with a walkout of 12,000 nurses in the Minneapolis area -- is poised to be the largest nurse strike in U.S. history, according to the AP/Times.
Jill Furillo, bargaining director at National Nurses United, said California's strike would involve nurses from:
- All UC hospitals;
- Citrus Valley Medical Center in Covina;
- Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles; and
- San Pedro Hospital (Baenen, AP/Los Angeles Times, 5/28).
The California nurses said the planned strike stems from concerns over low staffing levels. They said hospitals do notÂ assign enough workers to treat patients on nights, weekends and during breaks (Tayefe Mohajer, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 5/28).
Under California law, hospitals must maintain specific nurse-to-patient ratios for each particular hospital department (Tedford, Whittier Daily News, 5/28).
TheÂ strike organizersÂ are seeking to strengthen enforcement of the regulations on nurse-to-patient ratios.
UC representatives released a statement claiming that the union allegations about staffing are without merit. The UC statement also said the latest strike threat closely resembles a 2005 strike led by the California Nurses Association.
The Public Employment Relations Board recently ruled that the 2005 strike was an unfair labor practice. The board ordered another hearing to determine CNA's liability for the costs UC incurred in preparing for the strike (San Diego 6, 5/29).
Negotiations This WeekOn Wednesday and Friday, nurse and hospital representatives are scheduled to meet with federal mediators about the planned strike (AP/Los Angeles Times, 5/28). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.