RNs Applaud San Francisco Supervisors’ decision to take closer look at Sutter/CPMC Proposal

RNs with California Nurses Association/National Nurses United who attended the San Francisco Supervisors meeting Tuesday night are glad city officials are taking a closer look at the Sutter/California Pacific Medical Center’s controversial building project in the city.

The supervisors voted to give Sutter/CPMC a two-week  continuance to deal with major concerns about the project.  If the issues aren’t resolved, a majority of the supervisors indicated they would vote to reject the plan.  

The nurses joined community members at the 7-hour public hearing to pressure Sutter to be accountable and to negotiate in good faith.  

So far, no commitments have been made to RNs to preserve jobs and CNA contract. There are concerns the size of new 555-bed mega-hospital on Cathedral Hill will be devastating to surrounding neighborhoods.  Plus, Sutter has offered no guarantee of the future of St. Luke’s Hospital, which serves lower-income residents in the city’s Mission District.

“There is broad concern across San Francisco about whether you can trust Sutter and CPMC,” said Jane Sandoval, an RN at St. Luke’s.

Reports of leaked financial reports have caused city officials to question CPMC’s trustworthiness in the last several weeks. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the leaked reports showed Sutter officials looked at potential incidences where they could close St. Luke’s in 2020 -- four years after it’s projected to be rebuilt --  and eliminate 379-fulltime jobs at CPMC by 2018 (saving $63.3 million).

“Sutter and CPMC have tried to use their enormous wealth and political influence to steamroll past the widespread community concerns about adequate protections for existing health services in San Francisco as well as an array of other huge concerns posed by the project,” said Zenei Cortez, RN, co-president of the CNA/NNU.

“What they failed to count on was the vigilance, resilience and unity of the San Franciscans for Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Justice coalition of community and labor groups that worked for months to highlight the many holes in the plan and what was at stake for all San Francisco residents. We commend the coalition, and applaud the Board of Supervisors for doing what Sutter and CPMC failed to do, listen to the public and make a good faith effort to put the public needs first.”