A whole bunch of nurses went on strike on June 27 exterior the Ascension Seton Medical Heart, marking the biggest nurses’ strike in Texas historical past, in response to a Nationwide Nurses United press launch.
“We really feel like this strike is basically the one factor that might get (Ascension’s) consideration and that might push their arms to truly be the well being care suppliers that they proceed to tote that they’re,” vital care nurse Taylor Critendon mentioned.
Beginning at 6:45 a.m., nurses and different group members picketed alongside thirty eighth Avenue to spotlight longstanding considerations over affected person security and truthful contracts.
“We’ve been negotiating with Ascension for about a couple of months now, eight months really to be precise,” mother-baby nurse Kristine Kittelson mentioned. “We’ve handed plenty of proposals for secure staffing, higher recruitment retention for nurses, they usually’re simply not taking us significantly, not placing our sufferers and our communities first.”
Earlier within the month, ninety-eight p.c of nurses voted to go on strike. Ascension launched a press release on June 16 after being notified of the strike.
“We’re dissatisfied that (Nationwide Nurses United) has made the choice to proceed with a one-day strike, particularly given the financial and logistical hardship this can current for our associates and their households, and the questions and considerations this motion might trigger our sufferers and their family members,” the assertion learn. “Affected person security is our prime precedence, and ASMCA is properly ready to stay open and take care of our sufferers throughout this work stoppage occasion. We’ve got a complete contingency plan in place to make sure there isn’t any disruption in care or service for these we’re privileged to serve.”
Kittelson mentioned excessive patient-to-staff ratios had been a fundamental issue within the strike, with nurses too understaffed to take care of all of the hospital’s sufferers. She thinks addressing this concern would profit each group members and nurses.
“Protected staffing provides secure ratios and safer take care of our sufferers,” Kittelson mentioned. “It’s actually about them, and we would like our group to know that we’re out right here for them, and our sufferers can’t wait.”
Politicians like Congressman Greg Casar expressed their assist at a rally throughout the strike, utilizing the occasion to name on the group and different politicians to face behind nurses.
“This strike is an act of solidarity and love,” Casar mentioned. “We are going to maintain doing this as a result of lives are on the road. It’s not solidarity some days, it’s not solidarity generally, it’s solidarity ceaselessly.”
Whereas the strike was solely deliberate for someday, Ascension’s hiring of contracted nurses signifies that placing nurses can be out of labor till July 1, in response to a press launch from the Nationwide Nurses Organizing Committee.
“They’ve chosen to stroll out their workers that work there day by day, which are dedicated to this group, and as a substitute use cash to rent strike nurses who’ve by no means set foot in that hospital,” Critendon mentioned. “It’s a really unlucky and unacceptable response from them … they’re clearly scared of the ability that nurses have and would somewhat spend cash on alternative short-term workers than put it again within the hospital.”
On the rally, Nationwide Nurses Organizing Committee president Sandy Reding mentioned the union would work to make sure Ascension nurses obtain truthful contracts.
“There isn’t any nursing scarcity; there’s a scarcity of nurses that need to work below these situations that we’re working below,” Reding mentioned.
Monica Gonzalez, a neurology nurse of over 19 years, mentioned the strike was vital to learn nurses, sufferers and the group.
“This strike reveals nurses in our group and throughout the nation that collective motion is a robust factor,” Gonzalez mentioned. “Collectively we are able to make modifications.”