Beverly Nurses Take First Step Toward Patient Safety

January 2011

Nurses File for a Union Election to Join UNAC/UHCP In Order to Protect Patients

Montebello – Registered Nurses at Beverly Hospital filed for an official union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this morning, as they seek to rectify long standing patient safety issues at the facility by joining the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP).  The next step for the NLRB is to set an election date, allowing more than 270 nurses in the bargaining unit to vote to join UNAC/UHCP, which currently represents more than 18,000 nurses across Southern California.

“We are organizing because we want our patients to be safe,” stated Mike Medrano, RN in the Emergency Room at Beverly Hospital.  “We are pressured to keep the ER open, even when we are short of staff and overwhelmed with patients. Management rarely staffs the ER according to state ratios, even when we are saturated. Being chronically short-staffed puts our patients at risk. We want to protect our hospital and our community. Our community deserves quality patient care.”

Also at issue is Beverly Hospital management’s practice of directing nurses to “float” to units without proper training. Many nurses feel they have no choice but to take the unsafe assignments because refusal would lead to either retaliation or dismissal. Disregard for nurse-to-patient ratios has become a daily problem for Beverly nurses. Filing with the NLRB today was the first step towards mending these serious patient safety issues at Beverly Hospital.

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The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals is the largest nurses union in Southern California and represents registered nurses and other health care professionals. UNAC/UHCP, as the association is known, is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. For more information on UNAC/UHCP, visit www.unacuhcp.org.