Sutter Health nurses stage one day strike at 7 hospitals

5th strike by Sutter nurses in the last 9 months in dispute over benefits

Several thousand Bay Area Sutter Health registered nurses at seven hospitals participated in a one-day strike Tuesday to highlight a contract dispute over nurse benefits that has spanned nearly a full year.

This is the fifth strike by Sutter nurses in the last nine months. Along with the 3,500 registered nurses, several hundred technicians took part in the one-day protest, according to the California Nurses Association.

Sticking points in contract negotiations include the amount employees pay toward their health care and the nurses' demand for paid sick days.

Sutter Health officials say full-time nurses are given up to 40 paid days off for vacation, sick days and other personal uses.

California Nurses Association spokesman Charles Idelson said that after the first strike in September, contract agreements were reached with

local Sutter Health administrators at Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa and Sutter Lakeside Hospital, of Lakeport, Calif.

"We hope the executives at other local hospitals will make similar decisions," Idelson said.

He said Sutter Health is putting profits above taking care of its nurses.

"When you're that removed from the community, you don't care about the people you trample on," he said of Sutter executives.

Sutter Health spokeswoman Karen Garner said, "Our obligation is to take care of both our nurses and patients ... instead they demand new benefits that will increase the cost of health care for patients."

Garner said that on average, full-time RNs earn more than $130,000 annually with the option of choosing either 100 percent employer-paid

benefits or low-cost health benefits with an employer-paid pension plan.

Rallies were held at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley at 11 a.m.; Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland at 1 p.m.; San

Leandro Hospital at 3 p.m.; and Mills-Peninsula Health Services in Burlingame at 5 p.m.

In addition to the rallies, nurses picketed at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, Mills-Peninsula Health Services in San Mateo and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Herrick facility in Berkeley.

Sutter officials said that despite the CNA-called strike, many nurses continued to work, citing a 62 percent work rate at Eden Medical Center and a 47 percent rate at Alta Bates Summit.

The two sides are scheduled to meet next on July 11.

— Bay City News Service


Like this comment
Posted by union poor
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 5, 2012 at 7:52 am

"..on average, full-time RNs earn more than $130,000 annually with the option of choosing either 100 percent employer-paid
benefits or low-cost health benefits with an employer-paid pension plan."
Bet details like these really garner a lot of sympathy from patients negatively impacted by yet another union labor walkout. They don't appear selfish at all....they just want their fair share.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:24 am

What the loonberal lefty news source does'nt mention is that Sutter needs to eliminate nurses jobs. Because thats best for the patients. Part of that will be consolidating hospitals and emergeansy wards so that local injuries can be hellicopted across the state to find the best patient-fitted emergeansy ward. If your patriotic flag waving child gets hit by a car, instead of taking him to a "well" staffed local emergeansy treatment center, they call in a hellicopter and then 45-50 minutes later, vooalla, you're kid is at another hospital. This reduces patiant expenses.

Like this comment
Posted by union pilot
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

Troll, what have you got against union pilots making a living? Can't all us union ho's get along? After all, we all want the same thing.....more and more of whatever we can get at the expense of those non-union heathens.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I am in complete agreement with "union pilot" and other patriotic Americans who can see through the transparency of union me-me-me antics. It's unfortunate that the unions and their unpatriotic members can't take a page out of my book. Instead of clamoring for a living wage, they should just sock a few millions in offshore bank accounts, Swiss banks, and funnel a few million more into the wife's "blind" trusts. Before you know it -- but nobody else will -- your 38 million estimated wealth is closer to 250 million. Calling the union ho's ho's is really soooo appropriate. They should be more like my chaste and virtuous wife and simply stay home and preside over their husband's "blind" trusts.

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