Public Health New Mexico
5:59 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Santa Fe Hospital Workers Prepared To Strike

Credit Chelsea Stirlen via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Nurses and medical technicians at Santa Fe’s only general hospital are contemplating a strike after contract negotiations with hospital administrators stalled.

Workers overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer Sunday by Christus St. Vincent that contained nine percent pay raises over three years, saying the offer would leave the hospital understaffed.

KUNM Public Health Reporter Ed Williams spoke to Fonda Osborn, President of the Santa Fe branch of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, about the possible strike. 

"Patient care loads keep going higher and higher," Osborn said. "A nurse used to have five patients, now nurses can have up to six or seven patients. We had to draw the line somewhere."

Osborn said that at current staffing levels, a nurse only has time to devote 10 minutes per hour to a patient.

Hospital administrators said in an email that they will resume negotiations with the union on Thursday, and that the hospital has procedures in place to ensure continued medical care to patients should the nurses and medical technicians go on strike.