Nurses Strike in Four States
On the morning of Friday, the 20th of September over 8,500 nurses went on strike across the country.
They are striking for better patient care via higher wages and improved working conditions.
Around 7 a.m. that Friday over 6,500 members of the National Nurses United at 12 hospitals in Arizona, Florida, and California stepped out on strike in reaction to the current workloads set by Tenet Healthcare, the corporation that owns these hospitals.
At the Florida Medical Center in Lauderdale Lakes and the Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah RNs had been working under expired contracts. The members resumed work last Saturday and negotiations are expected to resume. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, California ranks first in median hourly pay and median yearly wages for RNs and Arizona ranks 15th in the same categories.
Florida ranks 32nd among the lowest in both of these categories and Illinois ranks 18th in both hourly and yearly pay. California currently has over 280,000 registered nurses, Florida has 178,330 registered nurses, Illinois has over 123,000, and Arizona has almost 55,000 registered nurses currently employed.
At the University of Chicago Medical Center over 2,000 nurses left the floor for a day as negotiations between the hospital and the National Nurses United stalled out the previous Wednesday evening. The nurses at the hospital had been working mandatory overtime shifts which added pressure allowing the situation to deteriorate.
The members held a strike that lasted from Friday to Tuesday as they are expected to return to work today. Negotiations are also expected to resume on September 30th. In El Paso, information pamphlets are being passed around by Nurses United Members as contracts expire later this year.
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