LA, Calif: Nurses Begin 4-Day Walkout

  1. Nurses Begin 4-Day Walkout
    Labor: St. Vincent staff strikes for higher pay; Queen of Angels workers agree to new pact.
    By CLAIRE LUNA
    TIMES STAFF WRITER

    August 8 2002
    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedi...e%2Dcalifornia

    Registered nurses at a Los Angeles hospital launched a four-day walkout Wednesday, the same day health workers at another facility announced a three-year contract following months of negotiations and two strikes.

    About 350 registered nurses at St. Vincent Medical Center are expected to strike in a push for salary increases, especially for senior staff members, said David Johnson, spokesman for the California Nurses Assn.

    The hospital has hired temporary nursing staff to ensure patient services are not disrupted, officials said. Administrators said they have not been given a chance to renew negotiations since nurses rejected a tentative agreement in mid-July.

    Nurses at St. Vincent contend they are not paid comparably to others in the area with their level of experience.

    "It's not fair," said Michelle Cabauatan, a nurse at St. Vincent for five years. She said new hires are paid more than she is.

    "We're the ones mentoring and guiding them, but they're getting the bonuses."

    Meanwhile, nurses and other health workers at Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center celebrated a contract with parent company Tenet Healthcare Corp.

    The agreement will raise salaries at least 11% over three years, reduce employees' out-of-pocket costs for health benefits and include nurses on committees that make staffing and patient care decisions.

    Workers said perseverance, including six months of negotiations and two walkouts earlier in the summer, paid off.

    "We moved workers to fight for themselves," said social worker Sonya Jimmons. "And that unity and strength moved Tenet past their last, best and final offer."
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   -jt
    <<The hospital has hired temporary nursing staff to ensure patient services are not disrupted, officials said. Administrators said they have not been given a chance to renew negotiations since nurses rejected a tentative agreement in mid-July.
    Nurses at St. Vincent contend they are not paid comparably to others in the area with their level of experience.>>

    I can never understand how the hospitals justify forcing their own staff out on strike because it doesnt want to pay them a decent wage - & then turn right around & hire strikebreakers at the enormous rates the strikebusting agencies demand.
  4. by   -jt
    The hospital refuses to pay its own dedicated staff RNs a competetive decent wage & the staff RNs say "we wont work for these low wages" So the hospital says "Fine - theres the door". And provokes a strike.

    The strikebusting agency says "We wont come to help you out unless you pay us these outrageously high wages" and the hosptial says "Fine - you got it. Where do we sign?"

    Theres something very wrong with this picture.
  5. by   Teshiee
    You are right Jt it doesn't make a lick of sense they should prolong the walk for 6 months. Those strikebreakers could be making about 2500-4000 a week that is the sad thing.
  6. by   -jt
    <You are right Jt it doesn't make a lick of sense they should prolong the walk for 6 months. Those strikebreakers could be making about 2500-4000 a week that is the sad thing.>

    Actually it does make a lot of sense. The reason why is because the staff RNs would be paid out of the hospitals money so any raises the staff RNs get would be coming out of the hospitals pocket. The strikebusters are paid out of state TAXPAYER money -& in Connecticut it even comes out of medicare/medicaide monies. So the hospital doesnt care how much they cost or how long they are there - the goal is to avoid having to pay more to their own staff out of their own pockets.

    Last year RNs in NY had a strike did last 6 months - From right after Thanksgiving, lasting until after Mothers Day. The hospital spent $19 Million on strikebusting only to lose out to the RNs & give them what they needed anyway. Another $14 Million is unaccounted for & the board of directors was being investigated by the state attorney general over it. Does the hospital care?That money came from the communitys pocket - not the hospitals.

    In fact, after the strike, the whole top administration resigned & walked away from the hospital & the CFO who gave all those millions to the strike agency allegedly was hired as an executive at that strike agency.
    Last edit by -jt on Aug 9, '02
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    St. Vincent management did not even postpone elective surgery.
    This management has ignored and disregarded the RNs patient care concers for years.
    Example: Due to a sick call and planned understaffing there was NO RN on a unit for four hours. The night RN offered to stay, but was told, " We can't authorize the overtime." So an LVN admitted four patients including an acute MI! The LVN was the ONLY licensed nurse on the floor. The manager sat in the office!
    These RNs will leave and work for a facility that not only pays better but RESPECTS THE WORK AND PATIENT ADVOCACY OF THE NURSES!
    St Vincent must return to the table and respect their nurses or they will lose them!
    Where can they fine more? Will these 'replacements' work for less than the community standard?
  8. by   -jt
    <Due to a sick call and planned understaffing there was NO RN on a unit for four hours. The night RN offered to stay, but was told, " We can't authorize the overtime." So an LVN admitted four patients including an acute MI! The LVN was the ONLY licensed nurse on the floor. The manager sat in the office!>

    and what did the state dept of health have to say about that when it was reported to them?
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    It was reported to the DHS.
    This hospital has been given many 'STATEMENTS OF DEFICIENCY'. signed by the V.P of nursing. They have made written Plans of Correction(POC) only to violate regulations again!
    These are public record.
    Nurses do not go on strike for no reason.

    By the way the strikebreaking RNs from US Nursing put dollar bills on the window of the bus as they were taken back to the Hilton hotel. Proves their motivation.
    The regular RNs who have worked there many, many years are back caring for the patients today.
  10. by   live4today
    Originally posted by -jt


    I can never understand how the hospitals justify forcing their own staff out on strike because it doesnt want to pay them a decent wage - & then turn right around & hire strikebreakers at the enormous rates the strikebusting agencies demand.
    Neither do I, jt. I call it ABSOLUTE STUPIDITY!!! This is why nurses across the United States MUST take a stand and stand for what they believe is RIGHT when it comes to the treatment of nurses. What really needs to be done is an across the board strike....meaning.......ALL nurses who hold jobs in this UNITED STATES should all pick the same day to globally walk out in unison and stand in front of their governer's work place until he/she sits down with them......and LISTENS to what we have to say. CAN WOMEN DO THIS??? DO WE REALLY REALLY WANT TO MAKE MUCH NEEDED CHANGES IN NURSING??? HOW SERIOUS ARE WE, NURSES???? WANT TO BE TREATED EQUAL TO A MAN when it comes to your jobs....your careers?????? THEN STAND UP LIKE A MAN WOULD and protect your job.....your career!!! I rest my gavel! :kiss
  11. by   -jt
    <<This is why nurses across the United States MUST take a stand and stand for what they believe is RIGHT when it comes to the treatment of nurses. What really needs to be done is an across the board strike....meaning.......ALL nurses who hold jobs in this UNITED STATES should all pick the same day to globally walk out in unison and stand in front of their governer's work place until he/she sits down with them......and LISTENS to what we have to say. CAN WOMEN DO THIS???>>


    Unfortunately, it will Never happen. Not when there are so many nurses who can so easily be bought off by the dangling golden carrot:

    <<the strikebreaking RNs from US Nursing put dollar bills on the window of the bus as they were taken back to the Hilton hotel. Proves their motivation.>>


    Funny how they all complain about their poor wages, lack of benefits, difficult working conditions but will jump without a second thought, if the price is right, to sabotage the efforts of other RNs who are trying to correct those very same things.

    sad.
    Last edit by -jt on Aug 11, '02
  12. by   OC_An Khe
    Truly is sad, but nursing has always been its own worst enemy.
    We need a non nurse enemy that all nurses can agree to fight.....oh well I can dream a little
  13. by   CriticalCareOnc
    thank you all for your posts. this truly inspires us all. we picketed for four straight days. 99% overwhelming support from staff nurses, full time, part time and per diem. community support was amazing. the honking of the horns from cars and buses never ceased. food from doctors kept coming in. management sent us a letter by snail mail that they will not budge from their stand (not giving us what we want). that means safe staffing will not be enforced, pay increases and better retirement benefits all but a dream. but we will all fight for that. there are a lot of hospitals in los angeles that are too willing to get skilled and experienced RNs. it is the devotion of St. Vincent RNs that keep us in St. Vincent. yes to safe staffing. we went on strike for our patients and for our profession...
  14. by   sjoe
    Best wishes to all you walking the picket line. I hope you find a position that you like and that begins to appreciate you, but it doesn't sound as though St. Vincent is ever going to become that facility.

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