Bay Area nurses back to work
after two-day strike
Photo(s) by John
By Caitlin Cassady
October 16, 2007
Striking nurses who were locked out of hospitals throughout the
weekend due to guarantees made to replacement teams have started
work again yesterday morning, according to a California Nurses
Replacement nursing teams worked through this morning at Sutter
Solano Hospital in Vallejo and at the Berkeley and Oakland campuses
of the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.
Alta Bates Summit spokeswoman Carolyn Kemps said that in order
to get the 500 replacement nurses they needed for the scheduled
two-day strike, they had to sign a contract guaranteeing the replacement
staff five days worth of work.
CNA representatives are now trying to assess what went on in
the 15 hospitals involved in the strike, CAN spokesman Charles
Idelson said that representatives from the association are concerned
about the expertise of the strike-breaking nurses, and they feel
"that Sutter violated state laws by not validating the clinical
competency of replacements.''
However, California Pacific Medical Center spokesman Kevin McCormack
said that they had no problems with their replacement nurses,
who covered the San Francisco hospital Wednesday and Thursday.
"Everything went well with our replacements and the transition
back to our regular nurses went very well Friday morning,'' McCormack
McCormack also added that California Pacific is trying to sit
down and talk with CNA about resolving the issues in their nurses'
"We are willing to sit down and talk with the union, we
contacted them before the strike and we are still waiting to hear
back,'' McCormack said.
He added that California Pacific is keen to get discussions rolling
because they would like to avoid any further strikes.
Some 5,000 registered nurses at 15 hospitals in Northern California
went on strike from Wednesday at 7 a.m. through Friday at 7 a.m.
to protest patient care issued as well as health insurance benefits.
The strike lasted two days and impacted 13 hospitals operated
by the Sutter Health chain as well as two hospitals operated by
the Fremont-Rideout Health Group in Yuba City and Marysville.
The Sutter hospitals affected were Alta Bates Summit Medical
Center, with facilities in Berkeley and Oakland, Mills-Peninsula
Health Services in Burlingame and San Mateo, San Leandro Hospital,
Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, and Sutter Delta in Antioch.
Also affected were Sutter Solano in Vallejo, California Pacific
Medical Center and St. Luke's hospitals in San Francisco, Sutter
Medical Center of Santa Rosa, Sutter Marin General Hospital in
Greenbrae and Sutter Novato.
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