BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Hundreds of Kern Medical workers formed a picket line before their morning shift at Kern Medical Wednesday, citing a “patient care crisis” in the Kern County Hospital system.

The workers said short staffing and poor retention, apparently resulting from the system’s low wages, has an impact on patients. In particular, the large number of low income medically-underserved residents in Kern County.

The workers have been attempting to negotiate a new union contract with the Kern Medical Hospital Authority, saying they want to address staffing issues and negotiate wages.

Kern Medical declined to comment.