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Nurses picket at Fremont hospital over patient safety, benefits changes

Nurses are accusing a Bay Area hospital of jeopardizing the safety of their patients.

Registered nurses at Washington Hospital in Fremont will hold an informational picket on Monday to protest unsafe and disrespectful proposals from management during contract negotiations.

There are more than 800 nurses at Washington Hospital currently in contract negotiations. The nurses, who are members of California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), are especially concerned about a proposal by management related to “floating,” which is the redirection of staff nurses from their assigned units to short-staffed units.

The hospital’s proposal would force nurses to work in units that have different competencies and equipment without adequate training, risking patient safety, the union says.

“The hospital’s current ‘floating’ proposal is unacceptable and unsafe,” said Connie Rodriguez, RN and member of the bargaining team. “We are demanding that new graduates have at least 6 months of experience and training before being floated. Additionally, nurses should have the opportunity to be trained before being floated to a unit other than a regularly assigned unit.”

The nurses say Washington also proposed changes to their health benefits that would triple their deductibles and out of pocket expenses.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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