Our hospitals will continue to deliver high-quality care to our patients during the week-long strike called by the union.
We are deeply disappointed with the unions’ decisions to ask employees to walk out on our patients. This is the ninth strike the California Nurses Union has called against our medical centers in less than two years. It is unclear what the union hopes to accomplish through this strike since the past walkouts have brought us no closer to agreement.
Keep in mind that a nurse who chooses to work full-time at our hospitals with CNA contracts:
- Earns an average of $137,000 per year (based on 2012 W2 data).
- Receives a generous employer paid pension.
- Gets up to 40 paid days off annually.
- And has the option of 100% employer paid health insurance, or low-cost benefits.
Nurses at Sutter Health hospitals negotiating with the California Nurses Union reject the union-called holiday strike and come to work to care for patients. The hospitals’ crossover figures count nurses who reported to work, as scheduled, this morning.
- Eden Medical Center: 51%
- Sutter Delta Medical Center: 47%
- Sutter Solano Medical Center: 47%
- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center: 41%
- San Leandro Hospital: 41%
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.”
Instead of collaborating with Sutter Health hospitals to reach contract agreements, the California Nurses Union has called for another strike.
While it is always tough for patients and families to be in the hospital, it’s especially difficult during the holidays. It’s unfortunate that the union has chosen to strike during this time. This is the seventh strike union leaders have called against Sutter Health hospitals in the greater Bay Area since last year and the second in three weeks.
Even in these tough economic times, Sutter Health remains committed to providing nurses with competitive wages and benefits. A nurse who chooses to work full-time at a Sutter-affiliated hospital with an open CNA contract earns on average $136,000 per year— an average determined by our nurses’ 2010 W2s. Most registered nurses also have an option for 100 percent employer-paid health benefits. That’s in addition to a pension worth, on average, $84,000 per year.
Even though Sutter Health hospitals currently offer nurses six-figure salaries and generous health benefits, union leaders are demanding double digit wage increases and free health care for life—which would increase costs at our hospitals by tens of millions of dollars each year. We don’t think that’s prudent for our patients or our communities.
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Eden Medical Center, San Leandro Hospital, Novato Community Hospital, Sutter Delta Medical Center and Sutter Solano Medical Center will continue to provide quality care during the union-called holiday strike. Our hospitals will contract with firms that provide qualified registered nurses to fill in for nurses who choose to strike. Like every day, the Sutter Health family of hospitals will be open around the clock, providing the best possible care to patients.
Strikes are costly shenanigans by union leaders hopelessly out of touch with what’s happening in our communities and in health care. Our hospitals have negotiated in good faith for more than a year and have offered contracts that balance our obligation to provide competitive wages and benefits for nurses and reduce our costs so we’re more affordable to patients.
RNs who choose to work full-time at our Bay Area hospitals earn $136,000 a year on average (not including benefits). Part-time nurses earn on average $105,000 a year. These averages are determined from our nurses’ 2010 W2s. Nurses also have the option of 100 percent employer-paid health benefits/or receive low-cost health benefits and can earn an employer-paid pension plan worth $84,000 per year on average for life.
Instead of collaborating with us, the union has called a sixth strike and rejected virtually every modest contract change proposed by our hospitals to improve efficiency, affordability and quality. Union leaders want more. They’re demanding new, costly benefits—such as double digit wage increases and free health care for life—which will increase costs at our hospitals by tens of millions of dollars each year. Our obligation is to take care of both our nurses and our patients.
Quality patient care will continue during the Nov. 1 strike called by the California Nurses Union against four of our network’s hospitals—Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Eden Medical Center (including the San Leandro Campus), Sutter Delta Medical Center and Sutter Solano Medical Center. Our hospitals will contract with firms that provide qualified registered nurses to fill in for nurses who choose to strike. Like every day, the Sutter Health family of hospitals will be open around the clock, providing the best possible care to patients.
Quality Care Will Continue at Affected Hospitals
The facts for full-time nurses at Sutter Health’s Bay Area hospitals:
- $136,000 a year on average (determined from our nurses 2010 W2s and does not include benefits)
- An employer-paid pension plan worth $84,000 a year on average
- Up to 40 paid days off annually to use for vacation, sick time and other personal uses—about eight weeks off each year on average
The above lists just some of the generous wages and benefits Sutter Health hospitals offer to our valued nurses. Despite the six-figure salary average, an employer-paid retirement and other benefits, the California Nurses Union wants more and has called its fifth unnecessary strike at our hospitals.
Instead of collaborating with us to resolve these contracts for our nurses, union leaders have rejected virtually every modest contract proposal by our hospitals to make our quality services more efficient and affordable to patients. They demand new benefits that will increase the cost of health care for our patients by millions of dollars—including double-digit wage increases and free health care for life.
Our obligation is to take care of both our nurses and our patients. We remain committed to providing our nurses competitive wages and benefits, while also doing our part to make health care more affordable for our patients.