No agreement reached between Henry Mayo and nurses unionSebastian Cazares April 14, 2019 1 COMMENT
After several attempts to renegotiate their contract, no agreement has been reached between the registered nurses at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and the hospital’s administration.
The nurses held another meeting with the hospital administration on Saturday that lasted until 11 p.m. in an attempt to agree on a deal that better addresses the union members’ needs and to avoid a strike. However, no agreement was reached.
The registered nurses at Henry Mayo — who are represented by the California Nurses Association, an affiliate of National Nurses United — have previously planned to strike over similar issues with contract negotiations. In 2015, Henry Mayo nurses organized, then called off, a one-day strike regarding contract negotiations and their legal and patient advocacy rights.
Currently, the nurses have three major requests: a break relief nurse for every unit and every shift so nurses can legally take breaks, better wages that scale with experience and more access for their union representative.
Nerissa Black, who has been a licensed registered nurse for over eight years and has been working at Henry Mayo since 2013, is one of the nurse negotiators for the union. Black alleges that the hospital administration has been paying for missed breaks rather than allowing the nurses to legally take breaks during their shifts.
“One of the nurse negotiators asked across the table, ‘Is it really cheaper to pay the penalty pay [for missed breaks] than to pay for a four-hour break relief nurse?’” Black said. “The administration’s immediate response was plainly, ‘Yes.’”
In addition, the nurses are concerned about their ability to communicate with their union representative from CNA.
“We want to be able to advocate for our patients’ safety and care without fear of retaliation or disciplinary action,” Black said.
The nurses voted previously at the end of March to strike if a deal could not be made and will be reconvening on Monday morning to discuss next steps. If the nurses move forward with a plan to strike, they must provide Henry Mayo with a 10-day notice so that the hospital can find substitute staff.
Henry Mayo officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Clarification: A previous version of this article stated that Henry Mayo nurses organized a strike in 2015. The nurses planned to, but ultimately did not, go on strike.
Sebastian Cazares is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and student at College of the Canyons. He was heavily involved in Speech, Model UN, Rotary Club and journalism during his high school years. Sebastian is deeply interested in local politics and excited to report on the issues that impact his community.