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As Hundreds of CHO Nurses Strike for Healthcare, Leading Alameda Politicians, Community Allies Join

Press Release Press Release, 10/12/10

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780 Nurses at Children’s Hospital Oakland Walk off the Job and Hold Spirited Picket to Tell Management: “Hands Off Nurses’ Healthcare”
 
One day after 780 registered nurses launched a three-day strike against Children’s Hospital Oakland’s attempts  to slash their healthcare benefits, hundreds of RNs will rally outside the hospital and be joined by a broad committee of political and community allies this Wednesday, Oct. 13.  The allies will include Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner and Sandre Swanson, leading contenders for other offices including mayor of Oakland, nurses from around the Bay Area, and a parade of patients and healthcare activists. 

WHAT:
Rally for Nurses Striking Children’s Hospital Oakland over Healthcare Takeaways

WHERE:
Outside CHO, 747 52nd St., Oakland

WHEN:
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 12 noon

PICKET:
Nurses will also picket from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday
 
Nurses will face rollbacks in the value of their healthcare benefits of up to nearly $4,000 annually, putting healthcare out of reach for many RNs and their families.  This is far below community standards in the Bay Area, making it difficult to recruit and retain RNs needed for children served by the hospital.   In an attempt to resolve the contract issues, nurses offered to forego a wage increase for this year, with no change in healthcare costs.  Even though that would save the hospital double what it claims it would see from the healthcare cutback proposal, hospital management has rejected that offer. 

“Generations of nurses worked hard to win the standards we have today, especially here at Children’s Hospital,” said emergency room RN Anna Smith, one of the nurse negotiators. “My generation is not going to lead the way turning the clock back. Hands off our healthcare.”

“Cutting health benefits for nurses, other hospital workers, and our families is an unfair and unnecessary way for the hospital to make up for years of bad management,” said Martha Kuhl, CNA treasurer and a hematology-oncology RN at Children’s.

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