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Patient Dies During Lockout in CA Nurses’ Strike



A one-day strike involving more than 23,000 nurses at 30 California hospitals has  turned ugly with labor groups blaming the death of a cancer patient on a mistake made by a strike replacement nurse.



10 comments on "Patient Dies During Lockout in CA Nurses’ Strike"
Block RN (10/7/2011 at 4:36 PM)

The number and type of takeaways proposed by the hospital are unfair and outrageous. They are proposing elimination of all positions less than 4 days a week. There are many nurses working less than 4 or 5 days a week and their benefits are pro rated. Every nurse currently is required to work every other weekend until they have been employed for 15 years. Our previous contract allowed nurses to work every third weekend after 15 years of service and then eliminated the requirement after 20 years of service. Sutter wants every nurse, regardless of years of service, to work every other weekend. Sutter is proposing elimination of ALL sick pay, stating that SDI will kick in after the 8th day of illness. In addition they are proposing cutting back on maternity leave. They are proposing elimination of all 12 hour positions and cutting back on the hours that non-benefited nurses can work. They are proposing large cuts in hourly pay. These are just a few of the more than 72 takeaways that Sutter has offered us! It feels a bit more than trimming the fat. It appears to be more of a union busting technique as the number and type of takeaways are so over the top. Sutter Health, a not-for-profit hospital, in 2010 made a "surplus" of $878,000,000. Yes millions!! And this surplus was made by Alta Bates Summit Medical Center only, not all of the hospitals in the Sutter chain. This "surplus" was made while upholding our contract. The very same contract that we are trying to negotiate to keep now. Nothing new for us, just the same contract that still allowed the corporation to collect this huge "surplus". [Sutter executive] Pat Frey received a 43% raise and now makes at least 4 million dollars a year. Who knows how much more he will make when the figures for the 2011 "surplus" are in. Sutter donated 1 million dollars to keep the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento. This is not a corporation that seems to be in financial distress. The term CORPORATE GREED comes to my mind.
IR Nurse (9/27/2011 at 3:23 PM)

Doctors and Lawyers are compensated very nicely. Nurses unfortunately belong to Unions in order to protect themselves from corporate greed. You don't see these administrators given themselves cuts. No sir.... the buck is pass along down the line. THEY DON'T see nurses as professionals but as expendable labor force. They sing the bleeding song about compassion and pt safety and on and on when they only care about MONEY. HOW MUCH money they are going to get in bonuses and compensation. GET REAL!!!! I CAN READ BETWEEN THE LINES. DO NOT INSULT ME!!!
Al (9/27/2011 at 7:28 AM)

Advocating for patient safety by abandoning the patients under their care seems a misguided approach. The responsibility for this particular tragedy rests in hands of the nurses that walked away from their patients, forcing the hospital to seek substitute care-givers. For those hospitals that brought in nurses to care for their patients, what other options did they have besides letting the union dictate their management decisions? The nurses chose patient abandonment to stress the hospital to accept their position.
jean (9/26/2011 at 11:13 PM)

I am a registered nurse and am disgusted that a union as well as other nurses would blame the patients death on a strike. Giving the wrong med or dose is every nurses nightmare and to exploit the situation for politics is unforgivable. Shame on any nurse that uses this as an excuse. you chose to go on strike, you accepted the blowback of a lockout. deal with it. what will you say when you hurt a patient from a mistake. and if you say that would never happen to you, than you are even more dangerous than the nurses replacing you.
Linda Gusch,RN, BSN (9/26/2011 at 4:13 PM)

Doctors don't need "unions", because they have the AMA on their side, advocating for what is best for "DOCTORS", not the general public. Doctors routinely refuse and or dismiss patients from their practice who have, "unwanted insurance policies". Like Medicar, Medicare, Tricare, etc. They dismiss these patients because they are not paid enough to care for them. I was personally dropped from my GYN several years ago, when I left my job to be a stay at home mom, and had to rely on my active duty Air Force husband's Tricare insurance. As I was undressing in the exam room, the BOOKEEPER, BURST INTO THE ROOM WITH OUT KNOCKING, WHILE I WAS INDRESSING, TO TELL ME THAT THEY COULD NOT SEE ME BECAUSE I HAD TRICARE AND THEY DECIDED TO NOT TAKE ANY MORE PATIENTS WITH GOVERNMENT INSURANCE!! The only reason that they did this was because they were not being paid enough money. Period. And this group of doctors had delivered both of my children!! Nurses have no one to advocate for them. Unions are the only answer. If you can come up with a better idea for nurses to take control of their profession, let me know. There is strength in numbers, and one person cannot make the necessary changes needed to control our profession and advocate for ourselves. Period. To think otherwise, is nothing more than a delusion of grandeur. Nurse are doing what they need to do to protect the patients, and yes, insure that we are fairly paid and compensate us. I am not a nun or martry, who will work for substandard wages and benefits.
Randy (9/26/2011 at 2:31 PM)

I agree. Unions are in it for the money and power. How dare the CNA complain to the press about patient safety when THEY are the ones who tell these nurses to repeatedly leave the patients' bedsides without care. What other recourse does the hospital have but to waste time finding replacement nurses, training replacement nurses (there's no time to evaluate, hire, & train), spending more $ paying replacement nurses, and signing contracts to make the replacement nurse agency do business with them? THe hospital is stuck between a rock and a hard place. $150K nursing salary is wonderful. What the heck else do they want? Unions are what drove industry out of business in America and forced companies to take their manufacturing plants out of our country, thus costing millions of jobs and ruining our economy. Thanks a lot, unions. We're all losing our retirement 401ks because of the havoc you've wreaked on this nation. Unions don't care about patients or, in the case of manufacturing, the quality of a product being produced. Union thugs are trouble-makers. Unions are BAD. Get rid of unions out of healthcare and out of our government under Obama. Obama gives unions special perks and power because they brainwashed their members to vote for him. Unions take the power away from individuals so central planning bureaucrats can enrich their own power and wallets.
mike (9/26/2011 at 1:35 PM)

for those of you who think this is tragic-it is. I am an RN. I do this job because I love it and for money. It cost me over $100,000 to become and RN. I dont take care of you because Im a martyr. I demand to be paid and paid well. I also demand proper staffing levels. I have worked for Sutter for 10 years. This kink of poor staffing related stuff happens all the time. They are just trying to blame it on us.
Stephen (9/26/2011 at 1:31 PM)

Nurses are first and foremost patient advocates. Hospitals are business representing a concentration of services. If any prospective patients would prefer the lowest cost care they may well be on the way to getting their wish. I never heard of someone experiencing a heart attack come to the ER and request and administrator.
Debbie (9/26/2011 at 12:23 PM)

I could not agree more. Unions are in it for the money and could care less about patient safety. I thought nursing was a profession not a labor job in which they can walk out and picket whenever the union wants them to - I do not see Doctors and Lawyers doing this!! Unions and nursing do not belong together, it is so UNPROFESSIONAL!
Betty Noyes (9/26/2011 at 11:17 AM)

This is again a Tragic reminder of how irresponsible and unprofessional CNA is to entice professional staff nurses to abandon patients. It is a NO WIN situation. I support Duane Dauner comments!