‘Collectively we are able to make modifications’: Nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Heart strike over staffing, affected person security considerations

‘Collectively we are able to make modifications’: Nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Heart strike over staffing, affected person security considerations

A whole bunch of nurses went on strike on June 27 exterior the Ascension Seton Medical Heart, marking the most important nurses’ strike in Texas historical past, in accordance with a Nationwide Nurses United press launch

“We really feel like this strike is actually the one factor that would get (Ascension’s) consideration and that would push their arms to truly be the well being care suppliers that they proceed to tote that they’re,” essential care nurse Taylor Critendon mentioned. 

Beginning at 6:45 a.m., nurses and different group members picketed alongside thirty eighth Road to focus on longstanding considerations over affected person security and truthful contracts.

“We’ve been negotiating with Ascension for about just a few months now, eight months really to be precise,” mother-baby nurse Kristine Kittelson mentioned. “We’ve handed numerous proposals for protected staffing, higher recruitment retention for nurses, and so they’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 it will current for our associates and their households, and the questions and considerations this motion could trigger our sufferers and their family members,” the assertion learn. “Affected person security is our high precedence, and ASMCA is effectively ready to stay open and take care of our sufferers throughout this work stoppage occasion. Now we have a complete contingency plan in place to make sure there is no such thing as a disruption in care or service for these we’re privileged to serve.”

Kittelson mentioned excessive patient-to-staff ratios had been a foremost 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. 

“Secure staffing offers protected ratios and safer take care of our sufferers,” Kittelson mentioned. “It’s actually about them, and we wish 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 help 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’ll hold 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 endlessly.”

Whereas the strike was solely deliberate for in the future, Ascension’s hiring of contracted nurses implies that putting nurses can be out of labor till July 1, in accordance with a press launch from the Nationwide Nurses Organizing Committee.

“They’ve chosen to stroll out their employees that work there day-after-day, which can be dedicated to this group, and as an alternative 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 afraid of the facility that nurses have and would slightly spend cash on alternative short-term employees 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 a nursing scarcity; there’s a scarcity of nurses that wish to work below these circumstances that we’re working below,” Reding mentioned. 

Monica Gonzalez, a neurology nurse of over 19 years, mentioned the strike was necessary to profit nurses, sufferers and the group.

“This strike exhibits nurses in our group and throughout the nation that collective motion is a robust factor,” Gonzalez mentioned. “Collectively we are able to make modifications.”