Walnut Creek Kaiser nurses protest staffing shortages and "unsafe" conditions

It was hard not to miss if you were walking or driving along Newell Avenue or South Main Street this morning: 100 or more women and men in red shirts picketing in front of Kaiser Walnut Creek.

They were nurses, staging an informational picket, decrying “severe” staffing cuts at the medical center which they say are endangering patient safety.

This was a press release distributed by protesters and put out by the California Nurses Association, National Nurses Organizing Committee:

Administrators at Kaiser Walnut Creek are demanding severe cuts to hospital staff Registered Nurses, including cuts in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit and 3 North, where many of our community’s most fragile and elderly patients are assigned.

Kaiser WC nurses are conducting an informational picket in order to alert our community of unsafe staffing that has been and continues to occur at the Center. It is an unusual occurrence for us to have to take such extreme measures, but Kaiser administrators are putting patient safety at risk and we as patient and community advocates must tell you the truth.

We need you to know that over the past year and a half hospital nurses have documented over 600 reports of unsafe staffing to the Chief Nurse Officer, Chief Operations Office and the Diablo Area Vice President of Patient Care Services to no avail.

What is worse, the employer is now planning on cutting 50 registered nurse positions that we believe will seriously jeopardize patient care and safety. Cuts are being made in departments where some of our most vulnerable patients are assigned. Our patients will be deprived of the time necessary for effective assessment, evaluation, treatments, and education for the conditions their illnesses require. The employer is

undermining our patients’ rights when they eliminate resources necessary for

bedside care. There are well documented consequences for increased morbidity and

mortality of patients when fewer resources are provided.

Kaiser has no reason to cut staff and is only doing so to further increase their

billion-dollar profits. Please assist us in our effort to provide safe, quality,

therapeutic care for our community and tell Kaiser that cuts to RN staff are

unacceptable and harmful to patients.

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