STANFORD: Strike a Reality as Last-Ditch Efforts Fail
As eleventh-hour contract negotiations failed, nurses at Stanford University's two hospitals prepared to go on strike today at 7 a.m., the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The two sides remained deadlocked on a number of workplace issues, including the nurses' requests for a ban on mandatory overtime and a larger role in determining staff levels, as well as improved wages and benefits. "There was certainly no progress on a wage increase. ... We have overwhelming support among members for a strike," Kim Griffin, a spokesperson for the nurses union, said. According to Felix Barthelemy, Stanford Medical Center's vice president for human resources, the hospitals will "operate at near normal levels" despite the threatened strike, noting that they have a contract with U.S. Nursing Corp. to provide additional nurses. Griffin, a registered nurse who works as a radiation therapist, criticized the move. "The combination of nurses not familiar to the institution, questionable skills and exhaustion from no time off will be detrimental to patient care," she argued. But Mike Goodkind, a spokesperson for the medical center, called the use of outside nurses routine. "We can't readily transfer to other hospitals such patients as those waiting for heart transplants or infants born prematurely," he said. The nurses, who have been negotiating with the hospitals since March 12, announced their intention to strike May 26 (Workman, 6/7).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.