LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center began a four-day strike Thursday, the second walkout at the hospital in three months.

Officials with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United union contend the walkout is part of a push for increased staffing levels to improve patient care, but Kaiser officials denied the claim, saying nursing staff ratios at the hospital “meet or exceed state guidelines.”

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About 1,300 nurses are expected to take part in the strike, beginning at 7 a.m., according to the union, which says the walkout is centered on the inadequate staffing in the Tertiary Care center, short staffing for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and lack of staffing to allow nurses to take rest and meal breaks.

No contract negotiations are scheduled, according to the union.

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Hospital officials said the union represents about 1,200 of the 18,000 nurses in Southern California.

“We have made very good offers to date, that will make our LAMC nurses among the highest-paid nurses in Southern California,” according to Kaiser. “Unfortunately, the CNA bargaining team gave us no meaningful feedback about our most recent proposal, and made no counter-proposal to our wage offer. Rather, once again, they handed us a strike notice.”

Nurses took part in a weeklong walkout in March.

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