BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local nurses are gathering this morning in front of Bakersfield Memorial Hospital to demand changes in patient safety and workplace protections.
It’s all part of a National Day of Action by RN members of National Nurses United. Organizers say tens of thousands of registered nurses are in the process of bargaining contracts that govern their own workplace safety.
They say it’s crucial to win these protections in writing because employers have proven during the pandemic that they will continue to prioritize the bottom line over public health and safety. More than 400 RNs have died due to COVID-19, according to NNU.
The Bakersfield nurses are members of the California Nurses Association, an affiliate of NNU.
“Bakersfield Dignity Health nurses at Memorial and Mercy Hospitals want to give the very best care,” said Sandy Reding, RN and a president of the CNA. “In order to do that, we need improvements in staffing and we need regular rest and meal periods within reasonable time frames, along with a strong contract to recruit and retain nurses.”