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22,000 Kaiser nurses picket over equipment and staffing shortages

The registered nurses and nurse practitioners work at 22 Kaiser facilities, and all but one are in Northern California. They are calling for safer patient care, minimum staffing guidelines, and health and safety provisions for nurses.

Today marks the first day after the nurses’ union contract with Kaiser expired in Northern California. They have been bargaining for a new labor agreement since June.

Nicole Riddle is a labor and delivery nurse at Kaiser Oakland Medical Center, and her main concern is patient safety. She says that due to the staffing shortage crisis, missing meals and breaks has become a daily occurrence.

She picketed this morning and told KALW: “I was incredibly proud of the nurses of Kaiser Oakland who showed up with extreme solidarity and unity and had our voices heard. Kaiser made $14 billion in profit in the first two years of the pandemic and I don’t think that it is too much to ask that as a nurse, I get to take a break.”

Kaiser told KALW that they are optimistic that they’ll reach a deal soon.

Sunday is a news producer for Crosscurrents' summer training program.