STANFORD: Striking Nurses to Vote on New Contract Proposal
The 45-day-old nurses' strike at Stanford Medical Center and Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital could come to an end Thursday, when the nurses are scheduled to vote on a contract proposal offered by a federal mediator, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. The new contract would provide nurses with a 5% salary increase each of the next two years, with an additional 1% increase for nurses who have been employed at the hospitals for 15 years or more. The compromise plan comes after nurses rejected the hospital's last proposal of a 4% raise each year. Nurses had demanded a 7.5% raise each year. While union officials said they are not making recommendations for or against the settlement, hospital spokesperson Ben Drew said the facilities are prepared to accept the mediator's offer (7/26).
More Strikes to Come?
Eight Bay Area hospitals could enter round two of nursing strikes, as Health Care Workers Local 250 of the Service Employees International Union warned that nearly 4,000 workers will strike Aug. 2-3 if a contract settlement is not reached by Aug. 1. The notice comes on the heels of last month's strike against the same hospitals over a number of issues, including employee representation on hospital staffing committees. However, unlike July's strike against nine area hospitals, next month's boycott will not include Children's Hospital in Oakland. Local 250 spokesperson Christy Hawkins said negotiations at Children's Hospital are "making progress" and "workers don't want to strike." The eight area hospitals receiving notification include three Catholic HealthCare West facilities: Seton Medical Center, St. Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center; four Sutter Health hospitals: Alta Bates Medical Center, Summit Medical Center, Sutter Solano Medical Center and Eden Medical Center; and independently-operated Alameda Hospital (Brazil, San Francisco Examiner, 7/25).