SEIU 1021

Nurses picket Laguna Honda Hospital, sound alarm that admitting new patients at current staffing levels would be dangerous; warn of impending strike
RNs at San Francisco’s public hospitals and community clinics say they need more than praise or pizza parties for National Nurses Week–they need safe staffing. 



Contact: Jennie Smith-Camejo,, (510) 710-0201; Ella Sogomonian,, (415) 686-5075

“National Nurses Week” is a time to express gratitude for the people who care for our community members when they can’t care for themselves. But even as Laguna Honda’s nurses celebrate the hard work they put into keeping the hospital open, they are warning that if the City doesn’t take action in contract negotiations to ensure safe staffing, a strike to protect and improve the quality of patient care is all but inevitable. So far, SF Department of Public Health management have rejected all of their staffing proposals – even as an increase in patient falls at Laguna Honda due to short staffing has triggered a state investigation and could jeopardize recertification. 

The City has already spent $125 million on the CMS recertification process, including some $40 million just on consultants who are not even licensed in California and who have implemented such policy changes as removing all the side rails from beds. Combine the lack of side rails and a staffing crisis that too often leaves only one person to turn patients in bed, and the result is a recipe for falls – which can be catastrophic and even fatal for medically fragile patients like Laguna Honda’s residents. 

Who: Registered nurses and other SFDPH staff
What: Rally outside of Laguna Honda Hospital to share out how unsafe staffing puts patients at risk
When: Nurses will be picketing Thurs., May 9, 2-4 p.m., with short programs with speakers at 2:40 and 3:40 p.m. with announcements related to a potential upcoming strike
Where: 375 Laguna Honda Blvd.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of nurses and other frontline staff, Laguna Honda could soon be recertified, which means it could start admitting new patients. But nurses right now are already struggling to keep up with quality patient care as it is. They need more nurses to be able to properly care for their current residents – let alone a sudden influx of new ones. 

“Nurses and staff at Laguna Honda are deeply committed to our residents,” said Kathleen MacKerrow, an RN and clinical Clinical Nurse Specialist at Laguna Honda. “That’s exactly why we’re frankly terrified at the prospect of admitting new residents before we have adequate staffing. 

“Instead of wasting tens of millions of dollars on consultants who have done little to improve patient care, and in some cases have actually implemented non-evidence based practices, they could have provided us with the permanent, full-time nurses and ancillary staff we need to provide the quality of care our residents need and deserve,” said MacKerrow. “Nobody wants to go on strike, but if that’s what it takes to protect our residents from SFDPH’s poor choices, we’re ready to do that.”

For years, their nurses have been sounding the alarm about unsafe staffing levels and problems with hiring and retaining full-time nurses. Instead of trying to seriously address these issues, the SF Department of Public Health has been contracting travel nurses at much greater expense to taxpayers and diminishing quality and continuity of care, at Laguna Honda but also at SF General Hospital and SFDPH’s community clinics.

Announcements will be made at the rally about a potential strike on the horizon.


SEIU Local 1021 represents nearly 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs, and schools throughout Northern California, including seven private colleges and numerous community colleges. SEIU Local 1021 is a diverse, member-driven organization with members who work to make our cities, schools, colleges, counties, and special districts safe and healthy places to live and raise our families.