Kaiser nurses decry staffing levels
Nurses at Kaiser Permanente's Moanalua Medical Center demonstrated yesterday to voice complaints over what the workers call unsafe staffing at the hospital.
Members of the Hawaii Nurses' Association, the collective bargaining unit for the nurses, were scheduled to resume contract talks today with hospital management, which asserts that quality of care at the hospital has not been affected.
Aggie Pigao Cadiz, executive director of the nurses association, said the nurses have temporarily agreed on most of the contract language, including a 23 percent wage increase offered by Kaiser.
The sticking point, Pigao Cadiz said, has been language related to staffing issues; nurses want more input into how management deploys nurses at its hospital and clinics and the ratio of patients to nurses.
Although Pigao Cadiz said patient care has suffered because Kaiser at times has had too many patients per nurse, Kaiser spokeswoman Lynn Kenton said the hospital has consistently met or exceeded "the benchmarks on all of our quality-care indicators."
"Clearly this would not be possible without adequate staffing," Kenton said.
Nurses at Kuakini Hospital, Queen's Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital recently ratified new contracts.