Nurses at Florida hospital protest staffing levels, wages

Dozens of nurses protested Aug. 3 outside of St. Petersburg (Fla.) General Hospital over staffing levels and wages, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.

The nurses, affiliated with National Nurses United, allege hospital administrators have consistently ignored the staffing plan "meant to ensure high-quality patient care," according to the report. Specifically, nurses cite hospital data from December that shows 44 of the 60 shifts in the Progressive Care Unit had too few nurses.

St. Petersburg General, which is owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, declined to comment to the Tampa Bay Times on the staffing figures provided by the nurses union.

But in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, hospital spokeswoman Pam Yarbrough said the hospital "prioritizes providing excellent, safe patient care," according to the report. "We staff appropriately to meet our patients' needs," she added.

The picket comes amid ongoing contract negotiations between the hospital and the union. The previous three-year contract, which guaranteed pay raises and established staffing levels based on patients' medical condition and recovery stage, ended at the end of May, according to the report.

Bargaining is scheduled to resume later this week.

 

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