Registered Nurses at Doctors Medical Center on Strike ‘Indefinitely’
All 450 registered nurses working at Doctors Medical Center, which has facilities in San Pablo and Pinole, are now on strike "indefinitely," according to California Nurses Association officials, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/5). The CNA, which represents the nurses, and Tenet Healthcare, which owns the Doctors facilities, began contract negotiations on Aug. 31 when the nurses' contract expired, but the discussions ended without an agreement on Oct. 22. The nurses have asked for a pension plan under which the hospital would contribute 5% of nurses' incomes and for subsidized health benefits for retired nurses (California Healthline, 11/4). Hospital officials have said they have "no plans" to make another contract offer, contending that the 401(k) plan offered by the hospital was "better than the benefit plan sought by the union," according to the Chronicle. Doctors Medical spokesperson Michel Burelson said, "I would say the ball is in their court. We are eager to negotiate and get this resolved" (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/5). Hospital officials have hired 138 replacement nurses to work during the strike, the Contra Costa Times reports. Doctors Chief Nursing Officer Julie Kline said, "It's expensive. But I can keep the hospital staffed as long as it needs to be staffed" (Silber, Contra Costa Times, 11/5).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.