Sutter Health hospitals negotiating with CNANavigation
The California Nurses’ union today formally notified five Sutter Health hospitals of its intent to hold a strike on April 30. Hospitals impacted include: Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital and Mills-Peninsula Health Services.
“Providing quality care for patients starts with taking good care of our nurses and all employees, and we are proud of the generous wages and benefits provided by Sutter Health affiliates,” said Stephen Lockhart, M.D., Sutter Health chief medical officer.
According to Dr. Lockhart, a nurse who chooses to work full-time at Sutter Health hospitals with CNA contracts:
Nurses at Sutter Health hospitals negotiating with the California Nurses Union reject the union-called strike and come to work to care for patients. The hospitals’ crossover figures count nurses who reported to work, as scheduled, this morning.
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:
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.
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:
“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.”
Nurses at Sutter Health hospitals reject the CNA-called strike and come to work. The hospitals’ crossover figures count nurses who reported to work, as scheduled, this morning.
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 have contracted 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.