Some 921 registered nurses at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs and Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree will hold one-day strikes Sept. 20, urging management to invest in nursing staff,  according a news release from the California Nurses Association.

This will improve the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs, and ensure optimal patient care, nurses say. This isn’t the first time they have taken their concerns public. Registered nurses at Desert Regional Medical Center, among others, picketed in May. The purpose was to urge management to invest in nursing staff.  They argued that investing in staff will improve the recruitment and retention of experienced RNs, and ensure optimal patient care..

Contract negotiations have been underway since September . Ninety-nine % of the nurses voted in August to strike when their contract expired on Sept. 5.

The hospital received the mandatory 10-day notice prior to any planned strike action.

The current four-year contract was negotiated in 2014. It took effect Jan. 1, 2015.

In a prepared statement, Todd Burke, Tenet Healthcare communications director for California, acknowledged the pending strike.

“We have been negotiating in good faith with union representatives over the last few months in an effort to reach a new contract,” Burke said in the statement. “We are disappointed that the union is taking this approach. We have made progress toward a new contract and will continue to negotiate in hopes of reaching a successful resolution.”

Burke also said, “We value our relationship with all our employees and we are committed to resolving the contract negotiations. While we respect the nurses’ right to strike, patients and their loved ones can be assured that our patients will continue to be cared for by qualified replacement registered nurses and other caregivers during any strike action. We remain focused on providing safe, quality care to our patients.”

Nurses will also hold one-day strikes at six other six other Tenet-affiliated California facilities, in Modesto, San Ramon, Turlock, Los Alamitos, Templeton, and San Luis Obispo. On the same date nurses will hold one-day strikes at Tenet hospitals in Arizona and Florida.

Locations and times of the strikes are:

  • Palm Springs: Desert Regional Medical Center, Friday, Sept. 20  from 7 a.m. until  Saturday, Sept. 21 at 6:59 a.m. A rally will be be held from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. at 11 1150 North Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs
  • Joshua Tree: Hi-Desert Medical Center. Friday, Sept. 20 from 7 a.m. until Saturday, Sept. 21 at 6:59 a.m. at  6601 White Feather Rd, Joshua Tree

Registered nurses at these hospitals in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree are members of California Nurses Association (CNA), and are in ongoing contract negotiations.

CNA is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the United States with 150,000 members. NNU plays a leadership role in safeguarding the health and safety of RNs and their patients and has won landmark legislation in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence prevention.

Image Sources

  • Strike Action: Shutterstock