Over 6,500 nurses are expected to join a strike taking place in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Illinois.
Thousands of nurses in five states are going on strike today over nurse retention and allegedly poor nurse-to-patient ratios. The strike is a historic first in some states, as it’s the first nurse strike to ever take place in Arizona. The striking nurses are a part of the National Nurses United union and most of the nurses involved are employed by Tenet Healthcare. Tenet Healthcare is a multinational healthcare services company that runs 65 hospitals and hundreds of other, smaller healthcare facilities.
In a statement given to Business Insider, a Tenet spokesman explained that the company has been negotiating with NNU over a new contract for the last few months. The spokesman claims that the company has been negotiating in good faith and that “We value our relationship with all our employees, and we are committed to resolving the contract negotiations.”
The striking nurses, for their part, argue that the hospitals they work at assign more patients than they can reasonably handle. They explain that the ratio of patients to nurses is such that it leads to worse care for patients, as well as a harder job for nurses. According to a 2019 survey of Illinois nurses, only 18% of nurses in the state believe that their nurse-to-patient ratios are “safe.”