free hit counter code San Francisco nurses vote to authorize strike –

San Francisco nurses vote to authorize strike

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) registered nurses overwhelmingly voted in favor of authorizing a strike on Friday, the Service Employees International Union said.

The nurses’ bargaining team remains in negotiations with the City of San Francisco, and a strike has not gone into effect yet, however, if their current contract expires on June 30 without a new one in place, Friday’s vote allows the bargaining team to call a strike.

“Our public hospitals and clinics are literally at a breaking point, and City management is acting as if it’s business as usual,” SEIU 1021 San Francisco General Hospital Registered Nurses Chapter President Heather Bollinger said.

The union claims that SFDPH uses unrealistic numbers when budgeting and part-time nurses to do the work of 291 full-time registered nurses. The union also claims that a total of 16,000 breaks have been missed and unsafe conditions have been outlined.

Per SEIU, 99.5% of nurses voted Friday to authorize the strike.

“Our nurse-to-patient ratios are constantly out of compliance with state law. Wait times in our ER can be six to eight hours. Private hospitals are actively recruiting the nurses we’ve invested considerable time and resources into training – and when they can get hired quickly for higher pay and better working conditions, many of them accept those offers. This churn and burn feeds a vicious cycle of short staffing,” Bollinger said.

Negotiations began in February, and union officials say there is a “staffing crisis” among nurses. They say a strike is a “last resort.”

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