CNA Plans One-Day Strike at Seven Sutter Health Hospitals

TOPIC ALERT:

The California Nurses Association has announced plans for a Nov. 1 strike that would affect seven Sutter Health hospitals, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

Background

CNA says it is protesting proposed takeaways in contract negotiations with Sutter.

According to CNA, Sutter has proposed:

  • Eliminating sick leave;
  • Forcing nurses to work in areas in which they do not have clinical expertise;
  • Increasing nurses' out-of-pocket costs for health coverage; and
  • Setting limits on the ability of charge nurses to address staffing shortages.

Details of Planned Strike

The strike would involve 3,200 nurses and several hundred respiratory, X-ray and other technicians.

It would be the sixth strike that the union has held against Sutter in the past year (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 10/22).

CNA plans to hold strikes at:

  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley and Oakland, which includes three facilities;
  • Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley;
  • San Leandro Hospital;
  • Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch; and
  • Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 10/22).

Comments

In a release, Elena Ballard -- a registered nurse at Eden Medical Center -- said, "Sutter needs to respect the nurses' right to be advocates for their patients," adding, "We must be able to care for our patients without having our professional standards eroded."

Carolyn Kemp -- spokesperson for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center -- said, "We are asking for compromise, and the union refuses to negotiate," adding, "We must move in a new direction to achieve our goal of being more affordable to patients."

She noted that a "highly qualified replacement staff will be brought in" during the strike and that "the minimum length of a contract for replacement workers is five days."

The Journal reports that the five-day contracts of replacement workers might mean that some nurses will not be able to resume work for four additional days after the strike (Sacramento Business Journal, 10/22).

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