Northern Inyo Hospital nurses of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 315 held a rally Monday to call attention to a staffing shortage that’s led to the hospital’s hemorrhaging of money and added stress for those on the “front line,” as the nurses refer to themselves.
The union has been in contract negotiations for 13 months and says it’s close to reaching an agreement, but Northern Inyo Hospital District (NIHD) is dragging its feet. Nurses blame the lack of a contract for the high turnover rates that have led to the hiring of locums or traveling, temporary contractors at a greater expense than a permanent employee.
NIHD did not return numerous phone calls to The Sheet.
The negotiations and time spent training temporary help is taking its toll. A report published Tuesday, May 3 by a British medical journal finds that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer.