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USC University Hospital nurses and staff picket amid contract negotiations

Nurses About a 100 USC University Hospital nurses and medical staff picketed outside the hospital entrance Tuesday to demand improved staffing, a protest that came amid contract negotiations between administrators and two powerful unions.

Evelyn Koch, a registered nurse who said she has worked at USC-affiliated hospitals for more than 25 years, used a megaphone to rouse the lunchtime crowd on San Pablo Street, east of downtown Los Angeles.

"Nurses need to be sure our contract ensures our ability to deliver safe patient care," Koch shouted.

Many joined the picket line wearing red or blue scrubs and toting signs with messages such as: "Fight on for safe patient care" and "Don't short-staff life support." The protest lasted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., organizers said.

Representatives from the workers’ unions said their contract negotiations had stalled due to hospital administrators’ determination to reduce staff and worker input concerning staffing levels. The two unions -- the California Nurses Assn. and the National Union of Healthcare Workers -- represent more than 1,350 hospital staff, union officials said.

"We are working hard to reach an agreement as soon as possible with both CNA and NUHW, with an eye on supporting our employees and the goal of becoming the premier academic medical center in Los Angeles," hospital officials said in a Tuesday statement. "We are optimistic that negotiations will continue in good faith, and we look forward to reaching agreements that everyone can be proud of."

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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: As his step-father holds the drum, five-year-old Jude Narvias pounds out a beat for marching hospital staff who held a protest at USC University Hospital Tuesday over staffing cuts they say put patients at risk. Credit: Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (4)

LOL u$c and "premier" in the same sentence is the best joke I've heard all day!!!

USC Hospital is a long way from becoming a "World Class" Hospital. The employees as this facility are hard working carining individuals. USC wants to exploit these people's good nature to make a huge profit. USC brags about how much money it brings in but they don't compensate their employees for the work they do. SHAM ON USC, They claim high ethical standars but behind closed doors it's a different story.

USC WITH ITS $3.7 Billion ENDOWMENT is sacrificing patient care?? Not a good idea if you are competing to be a premier hospital. Good luck with that, guys!

USC recently bought the USC UH and USC Norris Hospital from Tenet Inc. The Unions were able to get into both of the hospitals because Tenet had a "neutrality agreement" with the Unions. It was a red carpet service for the Unions. The RNs do work hard in both hospitals and majority of them do not want the CNA today. RNs want to give the USC management a chance to run the hospitals without the union. The CNA is worried if they lose either hospital, for they will lose about $864,000/year earnings from hard earned money of USC RNs. In total so far, CNA earned over 2 million dollars over 3 years. It is time to oust the CNA out of USC hospitals and let the RNs do what they know best......and that is to care for their patient without these interruptions from the unions. As a USC RN, the USC ownership is one of the best thing that happened in these hospitals. The rally last Tuesday was disruptive and noisy.......just as crude as the Unions that held the event.


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