Barton Health nurse strike causes Lake Tahoe Surgery Center to close for 1 day— 5 insights

After South Lake Tahoe, Calif.-based Barton Health's registered nurses announced their intent to strike on Feb. 15, Zephyr Cove, Nev..-based Lake Tahoe Surgery Center had to reschedule all its procedures for the day, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reports.

What you should know:

1. The surgery center will be the only department impacted by the strike. All other departments will remain open and staffed.

2. Barton Health hired licensed nurses to fill in for the striking nurses. The temporary nurses are required to work a minimum of five days, because the striking nurses cannot return to work until Feb. 20.

3. Barton and the nurses have been in negotiations since March 2018, four months after the nurses voted to unionize.

4. The nurses are striking because they allegedly receive substandard benefits, which they said contributes to turnover and leaves some nurses unable to pay for medical expenses. The nurses also allege Barton Health is running with bare-bones staff.

5. Barton refuted all the nurses' arguments. The hospital said its benefits are like those at other area hospitals, and it has hired 29 nurses since 2017 to maintain state required staffing ratios. Barton also said it affords nurses breaks that surpass state minimums.

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