Nurses unhappy with declining patient care standards
The California Nurses Association (CNA), representing professionals throughout the Golden State, announced Tuesday that more than 18,000 RNs across 21 Kaiser Permanente centers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of calling a strike if needed.
The nurses are protesting the hospital’s ‘refusal to address eroding patient care standards.’ They warn of the dire consequences to the health outcomes of patients at Kaiser, the largest health chain and health insurer in California.
“With this vote, nurses are making it absolutely clear we are ready to strike to make sure our patients get safe care,” said Zenei Cortez, a South San Francisco Kaiser RN and co-president of CNA. “Despite enormous profits, Kaiser continues to implement cost-cutting measures, obviously intended to drive their profits even higher, at the expense of patients. We are united in defense of our patients.”
At this point, representatives have not declared an official strike. If they ultimately go through with the work stoppage, the nurses will offer ten days’ notice so that Kaiser may make appropriate accommodations to address their absences.
In addition to the declining care claims, nurses are also displeased with staffing issues within Kaiser.
“Our first priority is our patients,” said Michelle Vo, RN. “If we have to strike to get Kaiser to prioritize patients over profits, we are ready.”