LA County Registered Nurses took their fight for patient care to the next level today as more than 1,000 RNs held massive morning demonstrations at all five flagship LA County hospitals.
As the swing shift ended and the morning crews arrived, hundreds of Registered Nurses turned out in full force at the LAC+USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights, the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in West Carson, the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar and the High Desert Regional Health Center in Lancaster.
Nurses emphasized potential risks to patient care as high turnover rates continue to plague LA County’s main medical facilities. It’s an affliction causing all five hospitals to function as never-ending training grounds for the rest of LA County’s healthcare network, as experienced staff continually leave for other in-house opportunities – particularly in LA County’s clinic system.
“We’re doing this because turnover is real,” said Blake Lindgren, a Registered Nurse at the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar.
“Everyone here that’s an RN that’s working at a public hospital is doing this because they feel it right here in their hearts,” said SEIU 721 President Bob Schoonover, who was among those demonstrating at Olive View. “That’s the reason you’re working for a public entity.”
“We don’t ask for a lot,” Schoonover continued. “But we do ask for respect. We do ask for dignity. And we do ask for the right things to take care of the patients,” Schoonover concluded as RNs cheered.
RNs in Bargaining Units 311 and 312 are especially displeased that LA County management has engaged in regressive bargaining, an Unfair Labor Practice violation. But with solidarity strong and enthusiasm high throughout their ranks, members are down for the fight – and when we fight, we win!
Click here to view photos from our Flickr album of today’s RN demonstrations.