On Wednesday, a majority of about 4,500 nurses who work at 10 Sutter Health hospitals in Northern California participated in a one-day strike over stalled contract negotiations, according to California Nurses Association spokesperson Chuck Idelson, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
This is the fourth strike CNA has organized since September 2011.
Union officials and Sutter management officials are negotiating:
- Health care payments;
- Patient care conditions;
- Retirement benefits;
- Sick leave; and
- Other issues.
Comments on Negotiations
Sutter spokesperson Karen Garner said, "Instead of collaborating with us, [CNA] leaders have rejected virtually every modest contract proposal by our hospitals to make our quality services more efficient and affordable to patients."
Idelson said that Sutter officials are "making decisions on what provides the best return for their shareholders, not for patient care."
Despite Idelson's claim that a majority of nurses working at the Sutter hospitals participated in the strike, Garner said that a "large number" of nurses did not participate.
Both CNA and Sutter were unable to provide the exact numbers of nurses who worked or went on strike Wednesday.
According to Garner, replacement nurses that Sutter hired to take the place of striking nurses will remain on the job through Sunday because the nurses who went on strike will not be able to return to work until Monday.
Idelson suggests that there have been "problems" with replacement nurses hired during previous strikes. He said that Sutter officials "don't seem to look very closely at the qualifications of the people they bring in."
However, Garner said the nurses are "qualified" and underwent two days of training at the hospitals before Wednesday's strike (AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/13).