County Nurses Vote for Two-Day Strike
Contra Costa County registered nurses have approved a two-day strike beginning March 21 unless a compromise can be reached in contract negotiations, the Contra Costa Times reports. The strike would cause staff shortages at county health clinics, jails and the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez.
The nurses' contract expired in September 2005, and talks between the county and the nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, have stalled, according to the Times.
The county has proposed requiring new nurses to work for 15 years before being eligible for retiree health benefits and increasing health insurance copayments for some nurses already employed.
CCRMC Administrator Jeff Smith said the hospital likely would close "some sections ... we can't sustain without the" nurses.
It is unknown how a strike plan being developed by county health officials will deal with the strike at detention facilities, the Times reports (Rosen Lum, Contra Costa Times, 3/11).