California nurses plan 2nd strike over closing of psychiatric ward, understaffing, lack of supplies

Nurses at AHMC Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., plan to strike this week over the closure of the geriatic psychiatric ward and alleged understaffing and lack of supplies, local news source CBS Bay Area reported June 20.

The geriatric psychiatric unit at the hospital is set to be shut down for 120 days, and the union is pushing for the unit's patients to be transferred to other areas of the hospital.

"We are scrambling to locate supplies for the patients, answer family questions about their loved ones, while caring for more patients than is mandated by California's safe-staffing laws," Osha Atogwe, RN, said in a June 6 press release.

"The last thing we want to do is strike. We love our patients, our hospital, and our community, but AHMC has failed all of us and we need to call attention to these critical concerns before it is too late," Michelle Kubota, RN, said in the release.

"Meeting CNA's leadership current demands is unrealistic and not feasible for the long-term needs of the community," Sarkis Vartanian, BSN, AHMC administrator, said in a statement emailed to CBS.  

The two-day strike is scheduled for June 22-23 and will include picketing and a rally.

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