Kaiser Permanente LA nurses call 1-day strike

Nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center plan to strike June 23, the union that represents them said June 15.

The California Nurses Association represents about 1,200 nurses at the hospital, which is part of Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente.

Its members cited concerns about patient care and safe staffing as reasons for the one-day action.

"We became nurses because we want to be there for our patients when they need us," Tinny Abogado, RN, said in a June 15 news release. "But some days it feels so hard to continue because Kaiser is making it so hard for us to care for our patients in the way we would want to care for our family members. 

"We suffer great moral injury and distress when we are forced to care for a patient without having the time to educate them or support them emotionally because we are running around looking for supplies or are doing too many jobs," said Ms. Abogado. "Our patients deserve the best, and we are fighting so they can get what they deserve."

The union said nurses are leaving the job because they are overworked, and there are not enough ancillary staff to help care for patients or enough supplies, such as syringes and kits that are used when starting an IV, in some hospital units.

Los Angeles Medical Center nurses have been negotiating with hospital management since last September.  

In a statement shared with Becker's, Kaiser Permanente said it has a long and productive history with unions and was disappointed that the union called a strike.

"We hope CNA will stay at the bargaining table, meaningfully working toward an agreement that will allow us to demonstrate our high regard and respect for our nurses," the health system said.

Kaiser Permanente said there will be contingency plans to ensure care is not disrupted if there is a strike.

Meanwhile, "We are grateful to our entire nursing staff for their dedication to our patients, especially during the ongoing pandemic over the past two years," Kaiser Permanente stated. "We look forward to continued discussion at the bargaining table, as it is the best way to resolve issues and differences and reach an agreement."

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