Nurses at California community hospital give strike OK

Registered nurses at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley, Calif., voted Feb. 4 to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike, according to a union news release.

The nurses, who are represented by Service Employees International Union Local 121RN, are in contract negotiations with hospital administrators.

Union officials said nurses have sought to preserve patient services during negotiations. Services have declined over the decades, including last year's closure of the hospital's labor and delivery department, the nurses said.

"Our patients feel like we're family, that this is their hospital," said Alejandra Salazar, RN. "So, it was devastating to watch my department disappear. The hospital was unable to invest in the kinds of things other hospitals were providing, like a NICU unit, 24-hour in-house anesthesia, a laborist."

Nurses want more investment and growth in quality of patient services, union leaders said.

Eric Rose, spokesperson for Pacifica Hospital of the Valley, expressed disappointment about the strike authorization vote.

He said in a statement the hospital has bargained in good faith and has offered "a fair and competitive package" for unionized employees and hopes both sides reach an greement soon.

"While the union's strike authorization vote is a normal part of negotiations, we are confident a strike will not be necessary if the union will join us and focus their efforts at the bargaining table," said Mr. Rose. 


More articles on human capital and risk: 

Hospital unionization effort falls short in California
Marin General engineers, imaging technicians set to strike Feb. 1
Pennsylvania nurses approve labor deal, avert February strike


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