Nurses Give Sharp Hospital System Intent to Strike Notice
Nurses at the San Diego-based Sharp Hospital system this week voted to give the hospital a 10-day notice of intent to strike, citing a stalemate in contract negotiations, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Represented by the United Nursing Associations of California, the nurses are seeking an end to mandatory overtime, an "across-the-board" wage increase and a greater role in staffing decisions. Chris McGovern, the union's president and a nurse at Sharp, said that many nurses have not received raises in several years, even though their workload has increased. Bob Ryan, senior vice president for human resources at Sharp, said, "We also are sensitive to concerns about mandatory overtime. But ... we have never had to use mandatory overtime. We have always been successful in working with our nurses and using voluntary overtime." He added, "The compensation issue is still being discussed and considered. The union will be presented with a number of options to consider." The two sides have been negotiating a new contact since April 21. The nurses' contract expires May 31.
In other San Diego area news, the union representing nurses at Children's Hospital and Health Center this week filed an "unfair labor practice" charge with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that hospital officials have not negotiated in "good faith" over health benefits. The current contract stipulates that the nurses and the hospital can "reopen" discussions over health benefits. While the hospital declined to comment, Nicole Kennelly, president of the United Nurses of Children's Hospital, said that the hospital has "rejected every proposal the union made" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.