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4,000 RNs at 8 Sutter Hospitals to Strike Over Patient Care Problems
Date:3/21/2008

10-Day Strike Begins TODAY -

Major Events at Summit, CPMC, Mills-Peninsula

OAKLAND, Calif., March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Some 4,000 registered nurses at eight Bay Area facilities will begin a 10-day strike against Sutter Health today over serious problems with patient care, medical redlining, and healthcare for nurses, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee reports. RNs will walk the picket line through Sunday, March 30. A full schedule is below, with events today beginning at 7 a.m. at all facilities, and a major noon rally at Summit Medical Center in Oakland that will feature local community, political, and labor leaders.

At the same time, 500 RNs from Fremont-Rideout Health Group in Yuba City and Marysville will embark on a one-day strike of their own. Indicative of management's hostile attitude to their nurses, the RNs will be locked out for an additional ten days.

Thousands of RNs have struck Sutter facilities twice already, though this is the first 10-day strike. The key reason for the walkouts is the pattern of patient safety risks caused by Sutter's refusal to schedule RNs to care for patients when nurses are on legally-mandated meal or rest breaks. Such scheduling gaps leave patients unattended and at risk for sentinel events. Nurses are also concerned over Sutter's practice of medical redlining by closing hospitals in medically underserved areas (St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco and San Leandro Hospital), and their refusal to agree to fair settlements on issues of healthcare and retiree healthcare and pensions.

"Sutter cannot expect RNs to sit idly by and watch the ongoing problems with patient care and patient safety at our hospitals. When there are not enough nurses, patients are put at risk, period. We don't want to strike, but our ethical obligation as patient advocates demands it," added Sharon Tobin, an RN at Mills-Peninsula Hospital.

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SOURCE California Nurses Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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