California nurses to stage 1-day strike

Nurses at AHMC Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., plan to strike March 30 amid their staffing concerns, according to the union that represents them. 

The California Nurses Association, which represents 300 nurses at Seton, contends the hospital has repeatedly violated state law that sets a specific number of nurses to patients in each hospital unit.

"Throughout the ongoing COVID pandemic, nurses have had to fight management for safe staffing," Michelle Kubota, a registered nurse at Seton, said in a March 25 news release. "We know that increasing patient loads leads to poorer outcomes for our patients and causes moral injury and distress in nurses. Our patients deserve better, and our communities deserve better."

Nurses also say the hospital has not provided enough ancillary staff to support nurses, including nursing assistants, clerks, secretaries and other workers.

In a news release shared with Becker's, the hospital said the strike will be disruptive and slow the financial recovery of the hospital, which was saved from closing in 2020.

"We are deeply disappointed that leaders of the California Nurses Association will disrupt our patients and our community with their call for a strike despite receiving fair compensation, staffing stabilization and rejecting a more-than-fair offer," Sarkis Vartanian, BSN, Seton administrator, said in the release. "We're ready and willing to reach a new collective bargaining agreement that's fair for both sides — but meeting CNA leadership's current demands is unrealistic and not feasible for the long-term needs of the community."

Considering the scheduled strike, the hospital said it must plan to transfer patients, postpone elective surgeries and incur more expenses to keep the hospital open during the walkout.

The strike is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. March 30 and end at 7:30 a.m. March 31.

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