Nurse Union Leaders Call Christmas Eve Strike, Despite Industry-Leading Wages and Benefits
Quality Care Will Continue During Unfortunate & Insensitive Disruption
The California Nurses Union announced a one-day strike for December 24 against four Sutter Health hospitals. This union has called more than 110 strikes against California hospitals in the past three years including a Thanksgiving strike less than one month ago.
Following is a statement from Sutter Health spokesperson Bill Gleeson:
“Calling a strike on Christmas Eve shows complete disregard for patients and families dealing with hospitalization at an especially difficult time.
“A hospital stay is difficult for patients and families at any time, but it’s especially hard during the holidays. Rest assured, our hospitals will remain open to care for patients during the union’s insensitive strike. In past strikes, a large and growing number of our permanent nurses ignored the union’s call to strike and came to work. Our hospitals have arranged for qualified, licensed nurses to fill in and work beside us to care for our patients.
“These repeat strikes do nothing to help reach closure on outstanding contracts. Forcing hospitals to pay a premium for replacement nurses during the holidays only diverts resources that are better invested in patient care.
“Our hospitals greatly value our nurses. Today a nurse who chooses to work full-time at a Sutter Health hospital with a CNA contract earns on average:
- $136,000 a year
- 100% employer-paid health benefits for most nurses
- $84,000 a year employer-paid pension for life
- Up to 40 paid days off per year
- Respectful work environment that encourages nurse involvement in patient care decisions
“Despite generous compensation packages and respectful work environments, the nurse union continues to reject even the most modest contract changes intended to reduce healthcare costs for our patients.
“We hope union leaders will stop these disruptive and nonproductive strikes and instead focus on truly negotiating a contract for our nurses.”
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