Striking Kauai Nurses Look For Support On Oahu

Donna Moore
Donna Moore
Kathy Clark
Kathy Clark

(KHNL)  Nurses at Wilcox Memorial have been on strike for nearly three weeks now.

Thursday night there was finally a new development. Negotiators will soon head back to the table.

The news comes as Oahu supporters joined Kauai nurses at a rally on Nimitz Highway.

Armed with bullhorns, nurses left their bedside manner behind.

Kauai nurses took their strike to Oahu.

"We are looking after people who are friends and family and we feel the need to protect them," said Kauai nurse Donna Moore.

They waved signs in front of Hawaii Pacific Health. The company operates Wilcox Hospital.

In the next few days both sides will meet with a federal mediator.

Wilcox President Kathy CLark is optimistic, "So we are hopeful that we have a positive outcome."

Still administrators are upset the nurses left their stations.

Hawaii Pacific Heath executive Dr. Virginia Pressley feels the strike was a mistake.

"I'm distressed they have chose this path," she said.  "I don't believe that the ratios they talk about is really the issue. It is unfortunate they are choosing not to be reasonable and take a hostile attitude toward the hospital."

Nurses like Esther Tunac complain they have up to eight patients a day.

"We can take care of a newborn to a 99 year-old person and to have them all mixed on one floor," said Tunac.  "It's more than what we can handle. It is just not good for the nurses, we feel overwhelmed at times."

"We are doing the right thing," Tunac addded."  I feel our patients come first. We are putting our lives on the line for this although it is hard I feel I have to do this for my patients."