Nurses’ Union Approves Strike at Northern California Hospitals
The California Nurses Association on Friday notified 16 hospitals in Northern California that as many as 5,500 nurses might strike for two days beginning Oct. 10, according to union officials, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
The strike would affect hospitals that are affiliated with Sutter Health or the Fremont-Rideout Health Group (AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/28).
Each hospital is negotiating a separate contract with CNA.
Union officials said the threatened strike is over several sticking points in negotiations for new contracts, including patient care practices, and retirement and health insurance benefits.
However, California Pacific Medical Center, one of the facilities threatened by the strike, argues that the potential strike centers on CNA's organizing efforts, not wages, benefits or staffing (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 9/28).
Contract negotiations began in May, with the most recent bargaining session held last week. Since then, no more sessions have been scheduled.
Charles Idelson, CNA spokesperson, said the union could rescind its strike notice, "but that seems highly unlikely" (Simmers, Oakland Tribune, 9/29).
Another union representative, Shum Preston, said the strike "may be longer and messier" than two days (San Francisco Business Times, 9/28).
The strike would be the largest by nurses in California since 1997, according to union officials (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29).