PRESS RELEASE: Nurses at the last true “community hospital” in the San Fernando Valley announce 10-DAY STRIKE

Southern California—The Registered Nurses of SEIU Local 121RN at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley announced yesterday that they will launch a 10-day Unfair Labor Practice strike. The strike will begin at 7 a.m. on March 5th.

Nurses have used their negotiations to try to preserve patient services. Over the decades, RNs have watched as each sale of the hospital has led to some decline. For example, hospital administrators closed the doors of the hospital’s Labor & Delivery department last year.

“I worked in Maternity at Pacifica for 40 years,” said Alejandra Salazar, RN. “I’ve delivered generations of our area families’ children—then their children, then their children’s children. We’re a true community hospital. The only one left in the Valley.”

“The decision to strike is never easy for a nurse. Staying away from our hospitals is difficult. But that is just how committed these nurses are to prioritizing patient and nurse safety to prioritize patient and nurse safety,” said SEIU Local 121RN President Gayle Batiste, RN, CNOR, at Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

Although there are other hospitals nearby, it has historically been Pacifica that best served the low-income, under-insured community. Pacifica Nurses speak fondly of the many doctors over the years that would not turn any patient away even when they weren’t getting paid for the patient care they provided.

“We have met with Pacifica management since October in our efforts to reach a contract that improves patient safety, working conditions and extreme turnover,” said Rosanna Mendez, Executive Director of SEIU Local 121RN and the Chief Negotiator for this contract. “We have consistently made commonsense flexible proposals to help Pacifica grow, despite their current financial challenges, to grow. Our members bring the love and loyalty that has made the hospital a critical community resource.”

SEIU Local 121RN nurses emphasize that the community can rest assured that patients will be cared for by fully licensed RNs during the strike period. SEIU Local 121RN nurses would never agree to a strike if it would endanger patient safety in any way, which is why the union has given ample notice to the hospital to make necessary arrangements.

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Service Employees International Union, Local 121RN represents nearly 9,000 registered nurses and other healthcare professionals at 27 hospitals and facilities in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. This member-led organization is committed to supporting optimum working conditions that allow nurses to provide quality patient care and safety.

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