Press Release

Children’s Hospital Oakland RNs Say No to Management Plans to Slash Healthcare Benefits

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2011
Registered nurses from Children’s Hospital Oakland will rally outside the Oakland facility Thursday, March 17 to protest management’s efforts to sharply reduce current healthcare coverage for nurses and their families. The hospital has indicated that they also intend to cut health benefits for other hospital workers as well.
The RNs will be joined by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, representatives of Mayor Jean Quan and Senator Loni Hancock, nurse leaders from Kaiser Oakland, Stanford Hospital, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, and community supporters. The sharp reductions in healthcare for nurses and hospital workers will make it prohibitively expensive for employees to bring their own children to get care at Children’s Hospital.
Children’s Hospital Oakland (CHO) has been in affiliation talks with the two Palo Alto-based hospitals and the RNs, represented by the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement (CRONA), are fighting cuts there as well.
What: St. Patrick’s Day Protest Rally
When: Thursday, March 17, 2011
3:30 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.
Where: Children’s Hospital & Research Center
52nd St. & Martin Luther King Blvd, Oakland

The reductions would push Children’s well below community standards for pay, benefits, and retirement offered by other Bay Area hospitals, driving RNs away from the hospital and reducing patient access to the hospital’s most experienced nurses, warns the California Nurses Association.

The nurses charge that hospital administrators are trying to penalize the RNs and other employees for extremely poor management decisions with sharp and unwarranted reductions in health coverage, and also that they are trying to cut essential benefits for nurses just because they cut benefits for nonunion workers.

“Children’s Oakland nurses are glad to unite with Stanford and Packard nurses,” said Martha Kuhl, an RN at CHO and a member of the nurse bargaining team. “Together we will fight for adequate training, safe working conditions, fair wages, and benefits. We all want to continue to provide the best possible care to our patients. During these difficult negotiations, we stand together to ensure that the voices of nurses are heard on decisions that will affect the future of the nurses and ultimately our patients and their families.”

“CRONA nurses are pleased to stand in unity with RNs at Children’s Oakland,” said Lorie Johnson, a Stanford critical care RN and CRONA president. “On behalf of the patients we serve, we will continue our fight to have the hospitals recognize and fairly reward the important bedside work our nurses do.”