SoCal nurses plan to strike at Christmas
Approximately 1600 nurses have announced their intention to strike December 23 through December 28. The registered nurses are employed at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside and West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in West Hills. All three hospitals are owned by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).
The nurses, who are members are Service Employees International Union, are at odds with hospital management over the issue of staffing. The nurses claim that the hospitals are currently staffed at the bare minimum, which doesn’t allow time for good nursing care. The hospitals say they staff according to California state mandate, which calls for a 1:2 ratio in the intensive care, PACU and L&D units, a 1:4 ratio in ER, peds, telemetry and step-down units and a 1:5 ratio in med-surg.
Pay is an issue as well. The union has asked for a 4.5 percent annual increase and additional pay for greater education and training. The hospitals offered a 1.75 percent increase.
Hospital personnel have expressed disappointment with the proposed strike’s timing. Greg Angle, Los Robles president and CEO, told the Ventura County Star that he is “very, very disappointed…I think [the timing] was clearly intentional and meant to send a message.”
What do you think of the nurses’ plan to strike over the holidays?
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
By Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN