Press Release

Nurses begin five-day strike at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center on Monday, Oct. 24

Nurses in Alta Bates holding signs "Save Lives"

RNs say management must address high turnover and workplace violence issues

Registered nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC) in Oakland and Berkeley will hold a five-day strike from Oct. 24 through Oct. 28 in response to persistent patient care issues, including workplace violence and high turnover rates, announced the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today.  

“We are seeing a mass exodus of nurses from the medical center due to the poor working conditions,” said Mike Hill, RN in the intensive care unit. “Sutter has a responsibility to ensure that nurses have what they need to provide the highest quality of care and have workplace violence prevention plans for each unit in place. I am seeing nurses leave the medical center for other nursing positions on a regular basis. We have nurses working overtime, and even double shifts day after day to keep the hospital running. Sutter must create working conditions to enhance patient care while also providing a safe work environment that retains nurses.”

  • What:    ABSMC five-day strike pickets
  • Where:  Oakland campus:
                      350 Hawthorne Ave, Oakland
                  Berkeley campuses:
                      2450 Ashby Ave, Berkeley
                      2001 Dwight Way, Berkeley
  • When:   Strike lines at Hawthorne Ave., and Ashby Ave., starting at 7:00 a.m.

“I have worked at ABSMC for more than 40 years, and I have never seen Sutter act this disrespectfully towards nurses, and therefore to our patients,” said Ann Gaebler, a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit. “Nursing is a tough profession, it demands the ability to understand and retain complex medical knowledge, an ability to stay calm when things get difficult, a compassionate nature, and emotional resilience. It takes time to master the nursing profession and it takes mentorship from experienced nurses to get there. We are losing our experienced nurses because of the working conditions at ABSMC. Without proper mentorship, we see young nurses suffering the moral injury and the moral distress of having to care for patients without the support they need, and so they leave. This is not how you grow the next generation of nurses or how to take care of a community. We need Sutter to step up to address our concerns about retention, so we can continue to provide excellent care to our patients.”

The strike is scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 24 and conclude on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 6:59 a.m.

CNA represents 1,800 nurses at Sutter Health’s ABSMC campuses.

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.