Children’s Hospital Oakland RNs Preparing for Five-Day Strike
Press Release Press Release, 5/3/11
May 3, 2011
Nurses Make Picket Signs Wed. 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Strike Begins Thursday, May 5
Healthcare cuts to nurses and their families central issue
OAKLAND— Registered nurses from Children’s Hospital Oakland, preparing to go on strike May 5-10 over sharply reduced healthcare coverage for nurses and their families, will be making picket signs on Wednesday, May 4 and are available to the media for interviews during that time.
“It didn’t make sense for the hospital to spend over $1 million for a strike last fall rather than settling with the nurses, and it doesn’t make sense now for the hospital to refuse to negotiate to avoid a second strike,” said Martha Kuhl, an RN who works at the facility and who is on the nurse negotiating team. “CNA remains ready to resume negotiations with the hospital at any time. The hospital would save less than $1 million a year from its punitive healthcare takeaways, an indication of distorted priorities and poor management practices.
What: Children’s Hospital RNs prepare picket signs in advance of strike
When: Wed. May 4, 4:00 p.m.—5:30 p.m.
Where: California Nurses Association Headquarters, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA, 94612
The 800 RNs, represented by the California Nurses Association voted for a five-day strike last week after the hospital presented the same proposal for healthcare reductions it had put forward since last May. The CNA nurse negotiating team has made itself available to resume talks, after management unilaterally cancelled the last bargaining session scheduled for Tuesday, April 26. The hospital has not responded to the nurses’ request to meet. This will be the second strike authorized by the RNs, the last being a three-day strike in October.
Under management’s current proposals, health benefits, retirement health, and salaries would be at the bottom of Bay Area private hospitals. The healthcare cuts include monthly premium contributions of over $4,000 a year, which increase every year, and higher deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, and increased co-payments for prescription drugs and office visits, which would make it prohibitively expensive for nurses to bring their own children to get care at the hospital where they work.
The nurses say the unwarranted changes would leave Children’s RNs well below community standards offered by other Bay Area hospitals, undermining the ability to retain experienced RNs and recruit new nurses, and punishes Children’s RNs who have devoted their careers to serving the children and community that the hospital is supposed to represent.
During past negotiations, Children’s Hospital management acknowledged that it is not at risk of closure or bankruptcy.
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