Nurses launched a two-day strike over stalled contract talks that organizers said involved roughly 5,000 registered nurses at 15 Northern California hospitals.
The walk-out by California Nurses Association rank-and-file occurred at two-hospital Fremont-Rideout Health Group, Yuba City, Calif., and 13 Sutter Health hospitals. Jan Rodolfo, a nurse at Sutters two-campus Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and a member of the unions bargaining team, said the contract dispute hinged on proposed changes to health benefits, retiree benefits guarantees and adding Californias mandated nurse-to-patient ratios into contracts. The union is negotiating 10 contracts with Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter.
Many hospital officials reached at deadline said it was unclear how many nurses walked off the job, but temporary nurses had been hired to replace striking workers.
Mary Strebig, a spokeswoman for Novato (Calif.) Community Hospital, said the 47-bed hospitals union nurses by and large walked out, but temporary nurses have kept operations running smoothly. Tresha Moreland, vice president of human resources for Fremont-Rideout, said a significant number of union nurses returned to work. -- by Melanie Evans
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