Petaluma Valley Nurses Reject St. Joseph’s Contract Offer
Nurses at Petaluma Valley Hospital in Sonoma County last Friday rejected a "final contract offer" from hospital parent St. Joseph Health System, citing concerns over nurse-to-patient ratios and salary levels, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports. Represented by the California Nurses Association, the 150-member nurses group has "authorized a strike," although union officials said Monday they "are not prepared to call for a walkout," which requires a 10-day notice under state law. With tension "running high," St. Joseph and union officials "concluded their last scheduled negotiation session" on Monday with no agreement. Union officials say that Petaluma Valley nurses "are among the lowest paid for Sonoma County's hospitals." Petaluma Valley officials said they would have to temporarily close the facility during a strike. Daymon Doss, CEO of the Petaluma Health District, said, "With the nursing shortage, the reality of keeping the hospital open is very slim during a strike and our focus would be on keeping the emergency room open. Hopefully, behind the scenes there will be continued progress" (Rose, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 5/22).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.