Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey nurses voted 98% in favor to authorize a strike, on Monday, July 31. Those in favor of the strike cited the hospital's refusal to address recruitment and retention issues as critical protest points, according to the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU).
One registered nurse said she's seen Cedars-Sinai lose many experienced nurses over the past year. Sophia Sabido said this is a direct result of the hospital's refusal to address the problem directly.
"Instead, management resorts to staffing our hospital with temporary contract nurses, who often outnumber staff RNs (registered nurses)," said Sabido. "We know the best nursing care comes from permanent staff RNs, who are fierce advocates for their patients and are committed to improving the hospital."
The union nurses' contract expired in February of this year, and Sabido said she and her colleagues have been negotiating with the hospital for months. They called for a strong contract to recruit and retain experienced nurses; elements that these nurses say are critical to proper patient care. But Sabido said the hospital continues to propose contract takeaways, leaving the nurses with no choice but to strike.
Merrilee Marks, a registered nurse in the post-anesthesia care unit, said there's a reason why nurses are continuously ranked the most trusted profession. While Americans were instructed to stay home during the pandemic, nurses ran to the front lines to risk their own lives to save others. But now, Marks said they are left to fend for themselves.
"What’s happening right now is a betrayal," said Marks, "And makes it difficult to trust that Cedars-Sinai prioritizes the best interests of nurses and our patients."
Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital released the following statement:
"Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital has not received notice from the California Nurses Association (CNA) that a strike will occur. We deeply value our nurses, and we have long recognized their importance by providing highly competitive pay and benefits. Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital has maintained strong working relationships with our CNA-represented nurses and remains committed to reaching a fair agreement that continues to recognize their value."