Three unions and a community group sued the University of California Board of Regents to block the merger of the university's hospitals and clinics in San Francisco with those of Stanford University.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Alameda County Superior Court, accuses the Board of Regents of violating the state constitution by authorizing the transfer of public assets-in this case, UCSF Medical Center-into a private venture with Stanford.
Charles Idelson, spokesman for the California Nurses Association, a plaintiff, said the parties want the merger stopped and all future privatization of UC hospitals banned.
The regents approved the merger by a 12-4 vote Sept. 22. The merged organization, called UCSF Stanford Health Care, is scheduled to become operational Nov. 1.
The plaintiffs want a preliminary injunction; a hearing hasn't been scheduled.
The other plaintiffs are the University Professional and Technical Employees Local 9119, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3218, and San Francisco Tomorrow.
The CNA represents about 800 nurses at UCSF. The roughly 1,600 nurses in the Stanford system aren't unionized.
At deadline, it wasn't known whether the merged organization intends to recognize the CNA as the collective bargaining agent for all the nurses or require it to win the right in new elections.
The merger will combine 290-bed UCSF Mount Zion Medical Center, 478-bed Stanford (Calif.) University Hospital, 162-bed Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford in Palo Alto and the clinical practices of the medical school facilities.