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Sutter Tracy Community Hospital Proposes Nurses Accept Short-Staffing and Deteriorating Conditions

California Nurses Association Press Release, 2/26/14

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RNs Say No and Plan Protest
RAIN OR SHINE: Thursday - Informational Picket 3:30 – 5:30 pm

 
Registered Nurses at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital (STCH) will hold an informational picket on Thursday to protest management's continued refusal to take serious action on substantive contract issues after over twenty months at the bargaining table. Safe patient care has been a key focus in contract negotiations between Sutter management and the nurses who voted in March 2012 to affiliate with the California Nurses Association, the state’s largest organization of RNs. Management continues to thwart the bargaining progress and stifle RNs efforts to improve conditions at the hospital, nurses say.
 
The issues that prompted the RNs' initial organizing to affiliate with CNA persist today including: safe staffing levels at all times, having a voice in the delivery of safe patient care and competitive pay and health care benefits to assure the recruitment and retention of the best nurses at STCH.
 
“We have had a number of Nurses in the Emergency Department leave employment at Sutter Tracy because of the eroding conditions and they have not been replaced.  We are consistently short-staffed and the flu season has only made it worse," said Dotty Nygard, an RN in the Emergency Department.  "Nurses are continuously working under pressure to ensure that patients get the care they deserve but without adequate, experienced staffing, patients are waiting for long periods of time to be seen in the Emergency Room."
 
“Getting a fair contract is not only about respect for the nursing staff, it's about respect for the community of Tracy. I live here and it's important to me that my family and my neighbors get safe, quality care when they go to STCH," said Candy Meservy, an RN in Surgery."Until we get a contract, nurses don’t have an effective avenue to advocate for safe patient care.”
 
What:      Nurses Protest Sutter Tracy Community Hospital's Proposals for Lower Standards of
                Care
When:     Thursday Feb. 27, Informational Picket 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm. RAIN OR SHINE.
Where:    Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
                1420 N. Tracy Blvd, Tracy, CA

 
 “It is difficult to recruit and retain skilled nursing staff for the Tracy community when management pays less in wages and expects STCH nurses to pay higher health-care  premium costs than RNs in other Sutter Health hospitals in California," said Clarissa Conception, an RN in Med Surg. "How can STCH expect to retain experienced RNs who have families or plan to have families by making them pay much more for their medical benefits than Sutter nurses at other faclities? Sutter knows this harms retention and causes attrition."

The Sutter Tracy RNs are bargaining for patient protection provisions that already exist in CNA-represented hospitals throughout the state including the recently ratified agreement covering 12,000 RNs at major UC medical centers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento (UC Davis), San Diego, and Irvine, as well as UC student health centers in Berkeley, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. This is the third major settlement for CNA/NNU since August following agreements earlier this year with Sutter Health and Dignity Health hospitals protecting standards for over 27,000 California and Nevada RNs. Among the achievements of the various pacts – reversing concessionary spirals seen for far too many workers, protecting retirement security and achieving breakthrough patient care and other gains.

 

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