Washoe nurses to strike again

When nurses returned to work after a 24-hour strike in June, they said that care was less than excellent during the five days they were gone. Though the June nurse’s strike at Washoe Medical Center lasted only 24 hours, the hospital didn’t allow nurses to return to work for five days. Hospital officials said the replacement nurses required a five-day contract.

“You get on the U.S. Nursing Corp Web site, and you’ll see that they contract nurses for even just one day,” said Carin Ralls, a former registered nurse who now works for Operating Engineers Local 3. “They would much rather honor a contract with nurses from outside this community than with nurses in the community.”

Nurses will strike again for 24 hours on Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving. They will again be unable to return to work for five days of unpaid leave. It’s not the easiest time of year to make that kind of pay sacrifice. But nurses are intent on being heard.

"We want to see a contract that allows a voice for nurses in the type of care they give," Ralls said. "It’s always been a staffing issue, and it will remain a staffing issue."