Nurses at San Francisco’s Chinese Hospital held a one-day strike on Tuesday after experiencing poor working conditions, arguing their work environment was bad enough to scare off even veteran nurses and scared beginners from applying.

The medical professionals gathered together in front of the hospital and called out the administration responsible for the issue to resolve the matter by providing a better working environment. They argued bedside RNs should be given meal and break relief during their shifts.

Nurse Strike

“For nurses, this means ensuring we have safe staffing at all times. That means having nurses with the experience and expertise to notice and respond to the subtle changes in condition of our extremely vulnerable patients so that we are able to take the meal and rest breaks we need with the assurance our patients are receiving the care they need,” Nurse Sherry Yee said.

The nurses have been discussing with Chinese Hospital officials for a collective bargaining contract since February 2020. The hospital also has problems retaining RNs because many patients who are monolingual with Chinese require bilingual RNs.

“Chinese Hospital RNs are very disappointed that the hospital has not taken more seriously the problem they have created with recruitment and retention. We have lost far too many experienced nurses due to their unwillingness to stay competitive with San Francisco-area RNs,” Nurse Alson Toy said, CBS Local reported.

However, officials from Chinese Hospital responded by putting out a news release saying they have already offered nurses a 6.4%-average wage increase. They also criticized the timing of the strike that was held at 7:30 a.m., saying 7:00 a.m. was the “hand-off” time where day and night shift nurses are briefed on any developments of the patients’ conditions.

“Chinese Hospital is an important part of our community. Every time I walk into the hospital, I see nurses proudly caring for this underserved community. When the CNA strike ends, I know that the nurses will come back where they are needed,” board of trustees chair Ktman Chan said.