BERKELEY, Calif. – For the seventh time since fall 2011, registered nurses were walking picket lines at eight Sutter Health facilities in northern California Nov. 20 and 21. Nurses at two non-Sutter hospitals in San Jose joined them for one day.
The strike affected some 3,300 nurses, members of the California Nurses Association, and hundreds of technical workers who belong to a CNA affiliate, the Caregivers and Health Care Employees.
It was the second such strike this month.
At issue are sweeping cuts in patient care protections and nurses’ contract standards demanded by Sutter, though it is one of the nation’s wealthiest hospital chains.
Nurses on the line cited some 84 proposed takeaways, including services benefiting the community, as well as issues relating to nurses’ contract standards. Among them: ending charge nurses’ ability to address staffing shortages, elimination of paid sick leave and ending health benefits altogether for nurses working less than 30 hours per week.
The union says several Sutter hospitals have reached agreement with nurses after withdrawing concession demands.
The California Nurses Association notes that Sutter has accumulated nearly $4.2 billion in profits since 2005, according to its own audited financial statements. The health giant paid 28 top executives over $1 million in compensation.