Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nurses Set to Strike in Northern California Over Patient Care and Benefits

Not only do we have auto workers striking but now we also have about 5,500 nurses to strike in Northern California on October 10th and 11th - this according to BusinessWeek.

Check this out...

A nurses union has authorized a two-day strike at up to 16 Northern California hospitals to protest patient care practices and proposed changes to health care and retirement benefits.

The California Nurses Association said Friday that hospitals were being notified that as many as 5,500 nurses are planning to strike on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11, according to spokesman Charles Idelson.

Here is the press release from the CNA (California Nurses Association) website and below is a quote that sums up their number one concern and motivation for this strike.

"We are deeply concerned about the quality of care and the availability of patient services in communities that have long supported Sutter hospitals,” said Jan Rodolfo, an RN at Summit and chair of the CNA/NNOC Sutter wide Facility Bargaining Council. “Inadequate staffing is a persistent problem at Sutter facilities. No one understands what staffing we need to provide safe patient care better than bedside nurses.”

Here are their three main concerns:
1. Patient care: RN to patient ratio

2. RN healthcare benefits: Premiums, deductibles, co-payments, prescription drugs, etc...

3. Retirement Security: Increase value of retirement plan

These concerns seem pretty reasonable - especially when it comes to patient care and the potential liability and risk that can come from a wrongful death suit.

Regarding benefits, anytime you try to reduce benefits and increase costs you know that employees will in no way want to have anything to do with that - especially when it's your attempt to do both at the same time.

Lastly, a couple of facilities want to require RN's to participate in a wellness program. Non-participation will result in an increase in health care costs.