Sacramento Rally at California Hospital Association Thursday
More than 100 registered nurses will rally outside the Sacramento headquarters of the California Hospital Association Thursday to protest increased austerity programs by wealthy corporate hospital chains while handing out lavish pay packages to the top 1 percent of hospital executives.
The rally, sponsored the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, will focus in particular on the big Sutter corporation chain whose chief executive Pat Fry, former chair of the CHA Board of Trustees and a continuing CHA board member, receives nearly $5 million in compensation while his hospital chain is slashing patient services and demanding major concessions from its RNs.
What: Rally, California Hospital Association headquarters
When: Thursday, March 22, 12 noon
Where: 1215 K Street, Sacramento
While demanding its nurses and patients accept “shared sacrifice,” Sutter pays salaries of over $1 million a year to 20 top executives, led by CEO Fry who received $4,788,548 in 2010, capping a two-year pay hike of 69 percent.
“Sutter opens its vaults for the board room while slamming the door on patients across Northern California. No hospital system better symbolizes the misguided priorities of the 1 percent of our society,” says CNA Co-President DeAnn McEwen, RN.
Throughout the region, Sutter has been seeking to close hospitals, made sharp cuts in women’s health, pediatric, psychiatric, oncology, and other services that it deems insufficiently profitable. In the Sacramento region, for example, Sutter stopped providing psychiatric services for over 225 Sacramento children and closed a birthing center in Auburn forcing new mothers to travel over 70 miles for maternity care.
Concurrently, Sutter is demanding its RNs agree to massive reductions in out-of-pocket costs for health coverage, as well as in many facilities severe cuts that would erode safe staffing and effectively force nurses to work when sick dangerously exposing patients to infection.
CHA, the hospital industry lobbying arm and one of the biggest spenders in California politics, has been a vocal promoter of Sutter’s austerity agenda, spending tens of thousands on a major ad campaign supporting Sutter’s attack on nurses and patients.
The California Nurses Association/ National Nurses United is the nation’s largest U.S. RN professional association and union, representing a total 170,000 RNs, including 75,000 California nurses. CNA and NNU have organized 20,000 RNs in 45 facilities nationwide since 2007.