Nurses Picket Memorial

Emergency room nurse Lynn Drilling, left, tries to get support from drivers as she and about 100 other nurses picket in front of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children's and Women's Hospital on Monday.

About 100 nurses at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital picketed near their workplace for adjustments in their staffing ratios and “competitive wages” on Monday, June 24.

The association says they are primarily asking for adjustments in staffing ratios, because some nurses are asked to work in different departments that are not their specialty. They’re also asking for “competitive wages” and whistle-blower protections for the 2,150 nurses it represents at the hospitals.

But hospital officials on Friday countered that the hospitals are safe and the staffing ratios of nurse-to-patient are above standards.

Tony Garcia, chief nursing officer at the Medical Center, said nurses are only assigned to specialized units that they are competent to work in. And officials countered that they felt the nurses would be better served at the bargaining table instead of the picket line.

The California Nurses Association and the hospitals have been in negotiations for a new contract since January.

The nurses gathered with picket signs that read “A fair contract now!” and “Nurses are the heart of patient care” at Atlantic Avenue and 27th Street, across the street from their workplace, Monday morning. At about 11:30 a.m., Second District City Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce and former Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga attended the rally, in addition to other elected officials.

Hospitals officials said the strike would not affect its operations and security personnel at the Long Beach hospitals could be seen scattered throughout the campus donning yellow vests.

—Emily Rasmussen

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