University of California Nurses Announce Plans for One-Day Strike on May 29
University of California health system nurses yesterday announced that they will hold a one-day strike on May 29 to protest "stalled negotiations" over a new contract, the Los Angeles Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 5/16). Last week, UC nurses voted to authorize a strike and said that they would provide the health system with at least 10 days notice before a strike (California Healthline, 5/10). The one-day strike "could be followed by an open-ended strike if progress is not made" in contract negotiations, California Nurses Association officials said. The contract between UC nurses and the health system expired April 30 (Los Angeles Times, 5/16). The one-day strike will force UC hospitals in Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Monica and affiliated student health centers to cancel elective surgeries and refuse to admit patients transferred from other facilities, the Sacramento Bee reports (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 5/16). However, UC nurses can cross picket lines to provide emergency care to patients, CNA officials said (Los Angeles Times, 5/16). The strike could include as many as 8,000 nurses in UC health system (Fong, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/16). UC nurses are asking for a seniority-based, rather than merit-based, pay system and a 10% annual raise. In addition, the nurses are seeking a contract that prohibits mandatory overtime and immediately implements minimum nurse-to-patient ratios (California Healthline, 5/10).
About 240 technicians and licensed vocational nurses yesterday held a one-day strike at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood over stalled contract negotiations, the Los Angeles Times reports. The St. Francis employees are asking for a 10% wage increase over each of the next two years and a "100% employer-paid health insurance plan," according to Steve Nutter of the Service Employees International Union. Oscar Rivera, a respiratory therapist at St. Francis, said that hospital employees are protesting the "understaffing of vital services" such as intensive care. Registered nurses and doctors did not strike, the Times reports. The strike led to "no disruption of service" for patients, according to a St. Francis spokesperson (Reich, Los Angeles Times, 5/16).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.