Nurses at Sierra Vista and Twin Cities hospitals picketing

May 28, 2019

As part of a multi-state protest at Tenet Healthcare facilities, nurses will picket on Tuesday outside of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton. [Cal Coast Times]

Nurses have planned protests Tuesday outside of eight hospitals in California, as well as at Tenet facilities in Arizona, Florida and Texas in order to urge company management to improved conditions for nursing staff, a news release issued by the California Nurses Association (CNA) states. CNA nurses are in ongoing contract negotiations.

The protest at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center is scheduled 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nurses will picket outside Twin Cities Community Hospital from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Elsewhere in California, nurses plan to protest at hospitals in Modesto, San Ramon, Turlock, Los Alamitos, Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. CNA says, if Tenet were to change its employment practices, it would improve the recruitment and retention of experienced registered nurses and ensure optimal patient care.

Tenet Healthcare is a multinational company based in Dallas, Texas that operates 65 hospitals nationwide and employs about 115,000 workers. It is one of the largest for-profit healthcare companies in the country.

The protest at Twin Cities Community Hospital follows several years of legal action Tenet and its Templeton facility have faced over alleged understaffing and overworking of nurses.

A 2013 California Department of Health investigation found Twin Cities was understaffed, in violation state-mandated nurse-patient ratios. In 2014, the state labor commissioner awarded a Twin Cities nurse $32,000 for missed breaks as a result of understaffing.

In 2015, a group of nine nurses filed lawsuits alleging Twin Cities was routinely understaffed and the hospital was skirting state law in order to increase profits. The following year, 53 nurses filed claims against the Templeton hospital, alleging widespread violations of California labor laws were still ongoing.

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So the nurses are fighting Tenet greed? 65 hospitals. Good luck on that, nurses. Your quest may likely fail, and the supply of qualified people may lessen………..BTW There’s an old story of another type of Tenet greed which resulted in loss of HUNDREDS OF NEEDED beds in Southern California which is off topic, but germaine to the Tenet story………..

Tenet took over (circa year 2006) an old failing Catholic nun-operated, historic Daniel Freeman Hospital (350+ beds) near the LA Airport. It’s gone now. The hospital was on the ropes due to federal law requiring serving everyone even if they don’t pay, don’t have insurance, don’t have resources or guarantors to pledge payment. Tons of illegals and others got care then didn’t pay, not unusual in American health care.

The death knell for DFH was a state seismic retrofit law which Tenet didn’t feel it wanted to pay for. Whether you blame Tenet, or blame the “illegals who wouldn’t pay” or California excessive protective seismic retrofit laws (wise or not), the end result was loss of HALF the hospital beds in the Inglewood town. This is the real story and crime because if those beds are ever needed for an emergency, they are gone forever, now just a vacant lot becoming a housing development.

Also lost in the region in the last decade or two, Hawthorne’s once-gorgeous large RFK Memorial Hospital, and South Bay RMC in Redondo Beach, hospitals now long gone. So in a way, I SUPPORT these nursing staff trying to hold Tenet feet to the fire to pay a working wage, because it’s all part of the quiet loss of essential health facilities (acute care beds) which were lost from well-intentioned federal and state laws with their customary “unintended consequences.” I don’t want Tenet to lose our SV or TC hospitals.

Gee, a Texas based company understaffing to increase profits. I’m shocked.