UCSD Medical Center nurses join statewide rallies over contract

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - UC San Diego Medical Center nurses rallied outside of hospitals in La Jolla and Hillcrest Thursday as part of a statewide informational picket.

The nurses demanded better workplace safety measures, staffing and retirement benefits. This comes amid contract talks between the nurses’ union and University of California hospitals.

“We're hoping that UC will listen to the nurses, that's the most important message here,” said Dahlia Tayag, a registered nurse in Hillcrest. “We are basically the internal part of healthcare, we are the heart and soul of this organization, there's no nurses, there's no hospital,” she went on.

Tayag said she and other nurses have been working under an old contract they want to have renewed immediately.

She said nurses are tired, working long hours, missing meal breaks and they’ve been bargaining with UC health officials for better working conditions for about eight months now.

The nurses’ union said many issues which affect their quality of life and ability to provide the best patient care are still on the table.

In a statement sent to 10News UC San Diego Health said the following:

“The safety of our patients and the well-being of our nurses and staff are of paramount concern at all UC medical centers. Every UC medical center meets or exceeds California’s legally-mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. The Joint Commission, which certifies health care organizations, routinely surveys UC medical centers to ensure compliance with safety and patient care mandates. All five UC medical centers have been designated Magnet hospitals, a distinction that recognizes nursing excellence, by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.”

All clinics and facilities at UCSD Health remained open and patient health services were uninterrupted during Thursday's rallies.

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