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Nurses Will Hold A One-Day Walkout At San Leandro And Eden Hospitals Thursday

Union nurses say they are frustrated by contract negotiations with the hospital' owner, Sutter Health.

Registered nurses will hold a one-day strike at San Leandro Hospital and Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley on Thursday.

The local walkouts are part of a statewide action by the California Nurses Association (CNA) and National Nurses United which are renegotiating contracts with Sutter Health.

Sutter runs both local facilities among nearly 100 medical centers located primarily in Northern California.

The union says the strike will include 2,000 registered nurses (RNs) in Southern California and 4,000 RNs at eight Bay Area hospitals that are part of the Sutter network.

The other Bay Area sites affected by the walkout are:

  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center facilities in Berkeley and Oakland;
  • Mills-Peninsula Health Services hospitals in Burlingame and San Mateo;
  • Sutter Delta in Antioch;
  • Sutter Solano in Vallejo.

The CNA said this is its second work stoppage. The union held a one-day to protest what it says were nearly 200 demands for contract concessions made by the Sutter despite being highly profitable since 2005.

Sutter spokeswoman Stacey Wells said this action was poorly timed and unnecessary.

"We’re disappointed that the nurses’ union called a strike, particularly during the holiday season when we all know only our sickest patients are in the hospital," she said.

Wells said Sutter met with CNA representatives Monday and reached a tentative agreement and has asked for more bargaining sessions in January in a further show of good faith.

But CNA spokesman Chuck Idelson said it was an overstatement to say that the union had reached an agreement with Sutter. 

He said that when the last walkout occurred in September, 200 differences separated the parties. Since then negotiators have solved about 50 of those issues.

He said the union met with Sutter on Monday and offered to call off the walkout if the health system withdrew its remaining demands. But that did not happen and so the union will proceed with the one-day action Thursday, he said.

Nancy Pascale December 21, 2011 at 10:43 PM
Recently hospitalized, I have a new respect for the nurses......they work so hard for little pay.
David Ross December 21, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Nurses are not underpaid. Recent grads have a median hourly wage of approximately $38 ($79,040/year without any shift differential or overtime). That's straight out of school - no experience. How many other jobs pay that much for one without experience? Nurses - most, anyway - work hard. But the last time I checked no one was forced to be a nurse. If they don't like the salary then get another job or go to work at another hospital. If the nurses want a pay raise then they can get one very easily without costing their employer a cent - decertified the union and, with no dues (a lot of which go to political activities and not the nurses' welfare) to be paid, they'll get over $1000 more pay each year.
Tom Abate December 22, 2011 at 01:30 AM
Were you ever a union member, David? I was. I know unions are losing influence anywhere that workers have to compete globally, but is that a good thing? Interestingly, unions remain strong in government. And health care. Why? Can't outsource the job of changing bed pans. That's not to say the CNA is right in all regards but I just don't get this "race to the bottom" mentality when it comes to wages and benefits. Why can't we all race to the top like the Wall Street guys?
David Ross December 22, 2011 at 01:56 AM
I've been denied jobs because I'm not a union member. My loyalty lies with the person signing my paycheck. If I not like the job I quit. Unions remain strong in the government because we have politicians who are addicted to the money that the unions give them. I've never understand why a person would want to become a nurse, a firefighter, teacher, or whatever because they want to help people yet they complain when they don't get paid enough or the benefits aren't good enough or whatever brainwashing crap the union says. Unions did have a purpose at one time due to the bad working conditions. Now we have thousands of laws that protect employees. Unions are not needed.

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