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Bay Area Sutter RNs Begin One-Day Strike
Hospital Giant Seeks Massive Cuts Despite $4 Billion in Profits
Nurses to Also Protest Sutter Plans to Close Hospitals, Cut Care
Registered nurses are on strike today at eight hospitals that are part of the wealthy Sutter corporate chain to protest Wall Street-type demands for more than 100 sweeping reductions in patient care and nurses’ standards and workplace conditions.
The nurses, members of the California Nurses Association, National Nurses United, offered to call off the strike if Sutter agreed to withdraw the concession demands.
Some 4,500 RNs, as well as respiratory and radiology techs, are affected by the walkout at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center facilities in Berkeley and Oakland, Mills-Peninsula Health Services hospitals in Burlingame and San Mateo, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, San Leandro Hospital, Sutter Delta in Antioch, Sutter Solano in Vallejo, Novato Community Hospital, and Sutter Lakeside.
Despite making over $4 billion in profits since 2007, and paying its chief executive Pat Fry $4.7 million a year (or $2,260 per hour), Sutter is demanding big cuts for its RNs, many of which would pose risks to patient safety. Among Sutter’s demands are proposals that would effectively force nurses to work when sick, dangerously exposing already fragile patients to infection and further complications; thousands of dollars in increased costs to nurses for health coverage for themselves and their families; forcing many nurses to work in hospital units for which they do not have clinical expertise, posing a risk to patients, and huge cuts for nurses who work part time schedules. Read more…
Rallies Tuesday, 12 Noon, Kaiser Oakland, Kaiser South Sacramento
OAKLAND—Registered nurses and nurse practitioners at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics across Northern and Central California will honor the picket lines Tuesday in sympathy and solidarity with other frontline Kaiser staff who will hold a one-day strike Tuesday to protest Kaiser demands for substantial cuts in healthcare coverage, retirement benefits and inadequate staffing for mental health services.
RNs will complete final sympathy strike preparations Monday 3:30 p.m. at the Oakland headquarters of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, which represents 17,000 Kaiser RNs.
Media Availability Today:
California Nurses Association, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, 3:30 p.m.
Picketing Begins: Tuesday, January 31, 7 a.m., Kaiser Permanente Facilities
Rallies: Tuesday, January 31, 12 Noon
Kaiser Oakland: 3801 Howe St., Oakland
Kaiser South Sacramento: 6500 Bruceville Rd., Sacramento
RNs will be supporting mental health clinicians, clinical psychologists, licensed social workers and opticians.
The nurses say they understand the concerns of their co-workers about the erosion of services that affect the quality of patient care, especially in mental health, as described in the report Care Delayed, Care Denied. It asserts that Kaiser has frequently failed to comply with California laws aimed at protecting patients’ timely access to appropriate services despite receiving more than $10 billion annually from Medicare to provide a full range of services, including mental healthcare.
“It is disappointing that Kaiser is refusing to bargain for sufficient staffing for mental health services, and a secure retirement and accessible health coverage for its frontline caregivers despite its record profits,” said Zenei Cortez, RN, CNA Co-President, who works at Kaiser South San Francisco. Read more…
Kaiser Nurses Plan NUHW Sympathy Strike Jan 31 in Protest of Short Staffing of Mental Health Services
Kaiser nurses will be holding the sympathy strike on Jan. 31 to support their co-workers who are members of National Union of Healthcare Workers who charge that Kaiser Permanente, California’s largest HMO, systematically understaffs its mental health services in violation of California state law, leaving some patients to suffer delays in receiving treatment they have already paid for and urgently need.
The subject of articles in USA Today and the Huffington Post, A report by the NUHW “Care Delayed, Care Denied” documents the problem in detail. To learn more and see the report visit: http://www.nuhw.org/caredenied.
From the Executive Summary:
“With more than 6.6 million members, Kaiser Permanente is California’s largest HMO and plays a massive role in the state’s healthcare delivery system by operating more than 35 hospitals and several hundred clinics across the state. Less well known, however, is Kaiser’s role in providing mental health services to Californians. Ranking perhaps second only to the State of California, Kaiser is one of the state’s largest providers of mental health services. The Oakland-based company guarantees its members a full array of inpatient, outpatient and emergency mental health services provided by several thousand mental health professionals. Each year, thousands of Kaiser’s members seek treatment for conditions ranging from autism, anxiety and bi-polar disorder to depression, schizophrenia and suicidal ideation.
Despite Kaiser’s pledge to provide comprehensive mental health services to its members, an in-depth analysis suggests that the HMO’s mental health services are sorely understaffed and frequently fail to provide timely and appropriate care. Read more…
Donna Smith asks, “Who’s Your Doctor’s Daddy?” and Medical Tips from the Inside | Best of Nurse Talk | Dec 24-24, 2011 | Show 416
We are rewinding one of our best this week while we wield the hot glue gun with care to finish up our last-minute gifts. Plus, we think its important to keep asking, “Who’s Your Doctor’s Daddy?” Our friend and Capitol Hill correspondent Donna Smith (legislative organizer for National Nurses United) says that while healthcare giants buying up hospitals is not new…now they’re also buying up the doctors.
AND we have powerhouse medical paralegal and co-author Corine Mogenis with us to talk about a new book she and partner RN, MBA Patricia Raya have written called Medical Tips from the Inside: Things You Need to Know. Read more…
This Week: Bonus Podcast on Sutter California and Long Beach Memorial Walk-out and Best of Nurse Talk
This week we have a special bonus podcast with Sharon Tobin, RN and 23 year ICU veteran at SUTTER MILLS PENINSULA HOSPITAL talks with Nurse Talk about the upcoming one day walk-out at Sutter hospitals in California. What has happened to big hospitals? Sharon says Mills Peninsula in Burlingame was once a wonderful community hospital, is now a shadow of its former self. LISTEN TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ONE DAY WALK-OUT AGAINST SUTTER SET FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22.
Happy holidays to you all. We are rewinding one of our best this week while wield the hot glue gun with care to finish up our last-minute gifts. Plus, we think its important to keep asking, “Who’s Your Doctor’s Daddy?“
Our friend and Capitol Hill correspondent Donna Smith (legislative organizer for National Nurses United) says that while healthcare giants buying up hospitals is not new…now they’re also buying up the doctors.
AND we have powerhouse medical paralegal and co-author Corine Mogenis with us to talk about a new book she and partner RN, MBA Patricia Raya have written called Medical Tips from the Inside: Things You Need to Know.
Walkout to Target Bay Area Sutter Hospitals, Long Beach Memorial
Nurses Cite Patient Care Issues, Cuts in Healthcare Coverage
Nurses are poised to hold a one-day strike at California’s second largest private hospital, and one of its most profitable corporate hospital chain December 22.
The strike will affect 2,000 RNs at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, and 4,000 RNs who work at eight Bay Area hospitals that are part of the Sutter corporation.
Long Beach RNs have been at odds with hospital management for months over assuring there is safe RN-to-patient staffing at all times. The nurses will also protest hospital demands for sweeping increases in healthcare premiums for nurses. The health care takeaway the hospital is pushing would cost RNs nearly $3,000 more out of pocket in premium costs.
“Nurses are tired of having to fight everyday to protect their patients because of speed up and cost cutting measures,” said Long Beach RN Margie Keenan.
“We are finding it harder to give the quality care we want to give when our employer, like insurance companies, is only focused on the bottom line,” said Keenan. “This undermines our ability to deliver safe patient care. Our serious safety concerns have not been answered at the bargaining table and we will not be able to reach an agreement until they are addressed. Patients are more important than the bottom line.”
For the Sutter hospitals, this will be the second work stoppage following a one-day strike in September that was prompted by nearly 200 demands for major contract concessions made by the hospital giant despite amassing over $3.7 billion in profits since 2005. Read more…
Deborah Burger on California Nurses’ Strike at Sutter and Kaiser | National Nurses United Sponsored Segment | Show 423
When Nurses are on the Outside There’s Something Wrong Inside
There was big news last week with the nurses strike in Northern California. Over 23,000 nurses took part in the one day strike against Sutter and Kaiser hospitals. Tragically as we spoke with RN and co-president of National Nurses United Deborah Burger, a patient at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center died due to a medical error while under the care of a replacement nurse. Though this was a one-day strike, Sutter refused to let the nurses come back to work for another four days, putting patients in further jeopardy. Read more…
RNs Blast Court Ruling – Pledge to Seek Legal, Other Actions To Defend Nurses’ Right to Advocate for Patient Safety
From the California Nurses Association: University of California registered nurses, joined by leaders of their organization from across California and the nation today condemned the latest ruling by a San Francisco court to enjoin registered nurses from striking over a current contract re-opener as a dangerous infringement on democratic rights and an encouragement to hospital officials to continue to ignore pervasive safety problems in UC hospitals.“Today’s decision will not be the last word. We will consider a variety of legal responses and a full range of collective actions to defend the right of our members to continue to advocate for our patients,” said Geri Jenkins, RN, a co-president of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United and a UC San Diego nurse.READ MORE>
BREAKING NEWS: RNs Blast Six Months of Inaction by State Health Dept. on Unsafe Care At University of California Davis Hospital, UC Officials Also Ignore Dangers UC RNs Head Back to Court Friday on Bid to Strike for Patient Safety
Six months after Registered Nurses filed a complaint with the Department of Public Health regarding sweeping and pervasive patient care problems at the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento state officials have yet to act, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United said today.The complaint cites case after case of substantial under staffing that has led to near misses of serious injuries: for newborn, pediatric and adult patients, in heart, burn, neurological, post-surgical and other units. Among the many examples are dangerous delays in responding to emergencies, providing medications or antibiotics, and care for patients in substantial distress.UCD’s own staffing documentation provided to DPH by CNA shows that one-third of shifts at UC Davis were staffed with fewer RNs than the law required based on how sick patients were.READ MORE
We thought you’d like to hear how patients in Minnesota reacted to the largest-ever strike.According to the Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, (Twin Cities nurses strike stays calm, but pressure on by JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY and CHEN MAY YEE, Jun 11, 2010), the day long strike was an opportunity to show their numbers and passion for patient safety showing up to picket in the damp and wind.As for the patients, according to the newspaper, “Outside United Hospital in St. Paul, a pregnant woman wearing a patient’s robe walked from the hospital to the picket line, spoke with some of the nurses, picked up a picket sign and went back inside.”At another hospital, a woman living near North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, offered her bathroom to the striking nurses. A friend of Colleen Patterson, a patient recently discharged after a reported 25-day stay.”Patterson, wearing a baseball cap to cover the surgical scar on her head, sat in the back yard of the house, hugging nurses who showed up.”"I hundred percent support the nurses,” she said. “They’re angels in disguise. Everything they’re asking for they’re absolutely entitled to,” reported the Star Tribune. READ MORE