20,000 California nurses go on strike over Ebola fears

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: Ethan A. Huff
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Close to 20,000 California nurses walked off the job on Tuesday in protest of working conditions that they and their union say are inadequate for protecting against Ebola. Reuters reports that the two-day strike occurred at 86 hospitals and clinics operated by Kaiser Permanente, as well as two hospitals run by other healthcare providers in the northern part of the state.

National Nurses United (NNU) says existing protection protocols are inadequate and put healthcare workers at risk of contracting the deadly virus. On behalf of the nurses, NNU is pushing for better staffing, improved safety equipment and a clearer focus on staff training that deals with serious infectious diseases such as Ebola.

“Inadequate preparedness for Ebola symbolizes the erosion of patient care standards generally,” NNU spokesman Charles Idelson told the media. “We have a lot of patient care issues that we have presented to them that they have stonewalled and ignored.”

According to the San Jose Mercury News, additional concerns were voiced during a series of street protests attended by thousands of union members who gathered in front of medical centers throughout the region. With bullhorns and signs in hand, protesters bemoaned chronic staffing shortages and patient admission and discharge problems that they say affect all areas of healthcare.

“Kaiser Permanente needs to realize that we are very strong and the only reason we are out here is for our patients,” claimed Cathy Davis, a registered nurse who participated in the strike, to ABC Fresno (as reported by RT.com).

“We’ve also had an influx of patients from the Affordable Care Act to where we are seeing more patients, that are sicker patients for our population, and for that we’d like to have more staffing. We’d like to have the proper equipment to take care of these sicker patients, and right now Kaiser is not providing that equipment.”

100,000 nurses in 15 states and DC strike day after

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