Next Step in Sutter Solano Protest over RN Harassment
Nurses to Picket Hospital Thursday over Attack on Rights
Sutter Solano registered nurses are stepping up their rebuttal to the hospital management in Vallejo and Sutter corporate officials for illegal threats and disciplinary action against nurses who exercised their federally protected right to strike.
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United has filed formal charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Sutter Solano for what it brands as a blatant and illegal violation of federal labor law, as well as a grievance against the hospital for violating the nurses’ contractual rights.
What: Picket by Sutter Solano RNs
When: Thursday, January 31, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rally at 12 noon
Where: Sutter Solano Medical Center, 300 Hospital Drive (at Tuolumne St.), Vallejo
At stake is whether nurses have a right to engage in collective activity to strike without retaliation from their employer. Sutter nurses have been protesting a broad range of hospital demands for sweeping cuts on patient care protections and nurses’ workplace conditions and living standards.
Prior to a December 24 strike, Sutter threatened any nurses with discipline if they participated in the walkout. Afterwards, Sutter issued warning letters for all nurses who did not show up for work on the day of the strike, including those not scheduled to work, and even for those who did not work during a four-day lockout the hospital itself imposed preventing the RNs from returning to work.
In a press conference earlier this month, Sutter Solano RNs denounced the harassment and violation of their rights. “Sutter comes at us with rocks in their fist,” but nurses know “we have a right to fight for a fair and just contract,” said Sutter Solano RN Jolayne Haines.
They were joined by other nurses and community supporters, such as Jon Riley, executive director of the Napa-Solano Central Labor Council, who told the RNs, “Your fight is about patient care. On behalf of the 60,000 members (of the council) we are there for you.”
Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act establishes a clear right for employees to engage in collective action, including the right to strike, without fear of retaliation, harassment, or discipline by their employer. Regional NLRB officials are expected to act on the CNA charges in early February.