FILED IN: News & Politics

California Nurses Association to Strike on Christmas Eve

The California Nurses Association (CNA) is planning a one-day strike on Christmas Eve at nine San Francisco Bay Area hospitals protesting staffing levels, sick days, and health benefits.  According to the CNA press release, close to 5,000 nurses will walk off the job at several Bay Area Sutter facilities and two San Jose Hospital Corporation of America affiliated hospitals.  The union and hospital officials have been in negotiations for 18-months with no resolution.

Nurses and technicians are protesting the proposed elimination of health care coverage for staff working less than 30 hours per week and the proposed reduction of the number of paid sick days.  CNA spokesman Chuck Idelson told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Pay is not even an issue.  It’s never been an issue in this dispute.  Every one of these strikes is over the demands Sutter has been making for cuts in the ability of nurses to provide quality care.”

This strike would be the eighth by the CNA since September 2011.  Alta Bates Summit Medical Center spokeswoman Stacey Wells criticized the actions of the CNA in the San Francisco Chronicle by stating “It’s unfortunate that the nurses would call a strike the day before a holiday, when patients in the hospital at that time are the sickest of the sick.”

During previous strikes, the hospitals have called in replacement nurses and locked out striking nurses.  For the Christmas Eve strike, many replacement nurses want to be home for Christmas.  The hospitals will not be locking out strike nurses and will be paying for replacement nurses as well as the regular nurses.