Michell Palacios, a registered nurse at UCSF, is rallying for resources because she feels overworked from juggling multiple patients at once.
Registered nurses like Palacios at the UCSF and UCLA medical centers planned rallies and press conferences to be held Wednesday to address issues of patient care, staffing shortages and a lack of protective equipment, according to Palacios. The rally and press conferences will take place at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights.
“We do a great job around working around the shortages and managing patients and we know that we can do better if we had proper staffing in our units,” Palacios said. “We are hoping to pull on the ears of UCSF management and have them hear us and our concerns around safe patient staffing, personal protective equipment and issues around workplace protection and staffing.”
The rally was organized by nurses and members of the California Nurses Association, or CNA, and National Nurses United, or NNU. In addition to UCSF and UCLA nurses, other members of the CNA will also be participating, according to Palacios.
She added the rally and press conferences will allow nurses to share their concerns around patient care, staffing issues and protective equipment with University of California management.
Registered nurse at UCLA David Yamada, in a joint press release Friday by the CNA and NNU, alleged that hospitals have failed to provide the basic resources, protective equipment and sufficient staffing for nurses since the beginning of the pandemic.
“For the past two years, management has publicly called us heroes while at the same time failing to adequately address the ongoing needs of the frontline staff and continuously violating our contract protections,” Yamada alleged in the press release. “As we head into bargaining this year, we want UC management to know we are ready, willing, and able to fight for our patients and our profession.”
According to the press release, the UC system and the CNA will begin to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement this summer.
Throughout the pandemic, university nurses have struggled to gain access to the required resources and staffing needed to fully serve patients and the community, Palacios alleged in the press release. She added nurses are ready to “demand the university prioritize safe patient care over profits.”
“We continue to send our most heartfelt gratitude to all UC nurses, care teams, essential workers and other staff members who have done so much to save lives during the ongoing pandemic,” said UC Office of the President spokesperson Heather Harper in an email. “We look forward to working collaboratively with union leaders on a new contract that continues to recognize the many contributions our nurses make every day in the lives of our patients and to the broader UC community.”