SEIU 1021

Registered Nurses Speak Out For Patient Care, Demand an End to Short Staffing


From the bargaining table, to the streets, and before hospitals’ oversight committees, nurses are refusing to back down when to it comes to patient quality care and safety on the job.

Last week, nurses at Alameda Health Systems (AHS) spoke before the hospital system’s Board of Trustees on short staffing and violence in the workplace. In an interview with KQED on the frequent assaults at John George Hospital, AHS registered nurse Rachel Odes spoke on injuries on the job and how short staffing cuts recovery periods for healthcare workers short,  ”It’s an incredible feeling of vulnerability and anxiety and distraction when this kind of thing can happen … We are short of staff, perpetually. We don’t have a deep enough bench to bring in replacement staff when someone gets hurt.”
Nurses at San Francisco’s Department of Public Health (DPH) are also raising the alarm on short staffing in the city’s clinics and hospitals. Today they stormed and shut down the Healthcare Commission’s meeting and read off the names of more than 1,300 nurses who have voted ‘no confidence’ on the Department of Public Health’s executive leadership. DPH executives have refused to negotiate over staffing that would improve patient health outcomes and worker safety.
In an interview with Mission Local, Meg Brizzolara described the impact of short staffing on patients, “I work in psychiatry, and when the cops do their sweeps, they come to us. . .There are just not enough of us. People are working to the point where they’re jeopardizing their licenses. And even when we get patients glued together and discharged there’s not enough outpatient treatment so they come right back.”

In the News:

  • Frequent Assaults on Workers at San Leandro Psychiatric Hospital, Records Show,” California Report, KQED News
  • “Citing chronic understaffing, SF nurses plan to hit health department with ‘no confidence’ letter,” San Francisco Chronicle
  • General Hospital nurses shut down Health Commission meeting in prelude to potential work-stoppage,” Mission Local
  • “Nurses shut down Health Commission after ‘breakdown’ in contract negotiations,” San Francisco Examiner