On March 15, the newly unionized nurses of Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center arranged a seven-day strike in hopes of getting their first collectively-bargained contract.
Last summer, 1,200 nurses voted to join the California Nurses Association (CNA) , and the walkout was their first major action since joining the union. Negotiations for a new contract have been taking place since September, and this timed strike is part of the negotiation process. The union hopes to improve the conditions both for the RNs and their patients; the nurses report being understaffed, often having to cover units outside of their specialties, and seek economic improvements to attract and retain qualified nurses. Another concern brought up by the union is the hospital’s plans to open a medical school in the next few years, which will put additional strain on the hospital and its staff. The combination of factors led to the strike.
Kaiser Permanente expressed disappointment at the nurse’s tactic, and claims that they made a fair offer last month that went without a response. Additionally, Kaiser notes that their nurses are among the highest paid in the region, and their new offer would keep them there.
All of this is happening among growing concerns about healthcare coverage, as demand has spiked over the past few years .
The striking RNs have gone back to work  after seven days of picketing, and negotiations between the two sides are still ongoing.