UCSF nurses' union says increased workplace violence linked to hiring freeze

Registered nurses at the University of California, San Francisco say they have seen an increase in workplace violence since the medical center imposed a hiring freeze four months ago.   

The nurses, who are affiliated with the California Nurses Association, say there have been more than 30 cases of workplace violence at UCSF's Parnassus campus alone since the freeze began in May.   

"For months, our attempts to warn management about the consequences of the hiring freeze and short staffing have gone unheeded, and now keeping patients safe too often means putting ourselves in harm's way," said Elizabeth Fenchel, the union's chief nurse representative at UCSF, in a statement Saturday.   

The nurses plan to hold a press conference and public rally Tuesday to demand Improved staffing and workplace safety.   

Kristen Bolel, UCSF's executive director of public affairs, didn't immediately respond to voicemail and email messages left after regular business hours Saturday afternoon.   

The nurses said they have filed hundreds of complaints documenting unsafe staffing at UCSF's Parnassus, Mission Bay and Mount Zion campuses.