California: 3,500 nurses on strike

03 July 2012
Nurse
Nurses in seven Californian hospitals will be on strike on July 3rd, protesting against concession demands that they say will undermine patient care protections as well as health and living standards for the nurses. The strike will affect 3,500 nurses and also several hundred respiratory, X-ray, and other technicians.

Nurses employed by the Sutter corporation are protesting against more than 100 widespread, unwarranted reductions, according to National Nurses United (NNN), the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States.

Among the many proposed takeaways for the nurses, are eliminating paid sick leave, which would effectively force nurses to work when ill, dangerously exposing patients with compromised immune systems to further infection, as well as huge increases in nurses’ out-of-pocket costs for their own health coverage.

Concession demands at various Sutter hospitals (partial list):

  • Eliminating paid sick leave, effectively forcing nurses to work when ill, exposing already frail and vulnerable patients to further infection.
  • Huge increases in nurses’ out-of-pocket costs for health coverage for themselves and family members.
  • Limits on the ability of charge nurses, who make clinical assignments for nurses, to address staffing shortages, subjecting patients to the danger of unsafe staffing.
  • Forcing nurses to work overtime, exposing patients to care from fatigued nurses who are more prone to making medical errors.
  • Eliminating retiree health plans.
  • Eliminating all health coverage for nurses who work fewer than 30 hours per week.
  • Reduced pregnancy and family medical leave.

Read more on NNS' webpage.

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