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Kaisers nurses demand discussion on Ebola safety, training

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Nurses negotiating a new contract with Kaiser have taken everything off the table and now are demanding that they only discuss Ebola safety and training.

Nurses negotiating a new contract with Kaiser have taken everything off the table and now are demanding that they only discuss Ebola safety and training. The nurses were joined in Oakland Thursday by a U.S. senator who wants ever hospital in the country to be prepared in the case of an outbreak.

"You deserve protection," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. "Not only for yourself, of course, but so that you can do your job."

Sanders addressed hundreds of nurses who are in the middle of contract negotiations with Kaiser.

He then marched with them to Kaiser headquarters in Oakland, demanding proper training and gear for nurses.

In a last minute move, the California Nurses Association made changes to its demands after Kaiser failed to respond.

VIDEO: Lawmakers demand answers about handling of Ebola cases



"No, not so far," said Roseann Demoro with National Nurses United. "So what we did was take off all the other proposals off the table and said we just want to bargain on Ebola."

On Thursday night, Kaiser issued a statement, which reads: "We communicated to union that we will study their proposal immediately, and have asked that they engage with us in a small group to work together on identifying additional ways we can best protect our staff."

Kaiser has said its hospitals are prepared to handle Ebola patients and have been training the emergency room staff.

But Kaiser nurses want the same protective gear and guidelines issued by the CDC.



There have been no cases of Ebola in California. Still, nurses say they are concerned.

"With two nurses now being sick with Ebola, that we are all going to be just like Nina Pham and be infected as well," said Kaiser nurse Zenei Cortez.

Pham is one of the nurses who treated Thomas Duncan, the patient from Liberia who arrived in Dallas with the virus.

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner is one of those on Capitol Hill supporting a travel ban on people coming from the affected countries.

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"Speaker Boehner has his own point of view," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. "I think right now we need to look at how we're going to make sure that we address Ebola in this countries most affected, develop health care systems, protocols, treatment and care and stop it."

Lee is pushing for hearings on how to increase foreign aid and restore funding to the CDC after years of budget cuts.

For full coverage on the Ebola virus, click here.

Related Topics:
healthebolau.s. & worldcdccenters for disease controlhospitalmedical emergencyhealth carekaiser permanenteunion contractlabor unionsunionsOakland
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