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Nurses Unions to Strike

March 01 2011

Two hospitals face potential nurse strikes this month, according to press reports. Nurses at Washington D.C. Hospital Center plan a one-day strike March 4. Nurses at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center have scheduled for March 2 an event to officially notify Kaiser of its intent to strike.

Washington Hospital Center's 1,600-member nurses union had voted Feb. 15 to authorize a one-day strike. Chief among the nurses' complaints is a planned cut to nurses' pay, the Washington Business Journal reported.
The strike will require the hospital to hire about 600 temporary nurses, who will be paid for a week's work, said the hospital's chief medical officer, Janis Orlowski. That arrangement will affect when striking nurses can return, the Journal reported.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente's Los Angeles Medical Center plan to notify the hospital system it intends to strike via a candlelight vigil Wednesday. The union is required by law to provide 10 days' notice. This would be the first strike at the facility in more than 20 years, the Sacramento Business Journal reported.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers cites as reasons for the strike poor staffing levels and inadequate nurse-to-patient ratios. They also want to change the hospital system's practice of sending floating nurses into units whose patients' needs are outside of their expertise, the Journal reported.
The strike In L.A. can affect contract negotiations between a Kaiser system in Northern California and a union of 1,500 behavioral health and optical workers, the Journal reported.

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