VALENCIA (CBS) — Nurses at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital held a candlelight Wednesday night to protest policies they say are undermining patient care.

Nurses say the hospital practices “team nursing,” which violates a California law that requires more nurses to be staffed at any given time, according to the California Nurses Association.

“We give our absolute all to deliver the best care for every patient who walks through the door,” Robbie Bailey, a registered nurse at Henry Mayo, said in a statement. “But because the hospital is using far less trained ancillary staff as part of their cost cutting ‘team nursing’ approach, we sometimes have unsafe ratios in medical and surgical units. Patients should know that the nursing care they are being provided may not being delivered by an RN.”

The contract for Henry Mayo RNs expires at midnight, but negotiations between the hospital and CNA/NNU are scheduled for Thursday.

“They made a commitment to the community, and we have tried through the negotiating process to make them honor that commitment, with no results to date,” Henry Mayo RN Brenda Monaco said. “It’s time for the hospital to send a message not only to the nurses, but also to the community that this is a safe hospital that treats its nurses fairly and is committed to providing the highest quality of care to it patients.”

Henry Mayo issued the following statement:

“Henry Mayo’s nurse staffing has always been in compliance with all applicable law and, more important, designed to provide the best care to the patients and community. The union’s use of the term ‘team nursing’ is a misnomer; all patient care is done under a team model. The issue is who is on the team, and the hospital on its own decided last year to use a primary registered nurse model and has started the transition. The hospital and the union agree in this approach.”

Mark Puleo, the hospital’s Chief Human Resources Officer, also said the vigil was more about the union’s salary demands than nurse staffing.

“The hospital has proposed raises starting at 6.4% and up to 25% over three years but the union is demanding more,” Puleo said in an email sent to CBS2. “The hospital is confident we will reach a mutual advantageous agreement in the near future.”


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