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CNA calls off strike at Martinez public hospital

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:29 PM
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CNA calls off strike at Martinez public hospital

Friday, March 14, 2008 - 2:32 PM PDT

San Francisco Business Times - by Chris Rauber

The California Nurses Association has called off plans for a three-day strike at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, Contra Costa County's financially ailing public hospital.

The Oakland-based nursing union -- which still plans to strike a host of Sutter Health hospitals in the region beginning March 21 -- said Thursday that RNs at the facility decided to withdraw a 10-day strike notice issued March 10 "as a result of significant progress at the bargaining table," including the withdrawal late Wednesday by county officials of proposals to cut nurses' retirement and health-care benefits.

"We appreciate that Contra Costa County officials are dealing seriously with issues raised by RNs and are looking for common ground," CNA spokesman Jim Ryder said in the March 13 statement. CNA represents about 500 nurses at the public hospital and affiliated clinics.

Ryder contrasted that response with the reaction from Sacramento-based Sutter Health, which CNA and the Service Employees International Union have tangled with for more than a decade. At both Sutter and the Contra Costa at regional medical center, CNA and hospital operators have been unable to agree on contract terms.

County officials had projected that a three-day strike at CCRMC could have cost as much as $1.5 million to cover the cost of replacement nurses and lost revenues.

According to the union, meanwhile, 4,000 RNs will conduct their third, and longest, strike in recent months against Sacramento-based Sutter, starting March 21. Thousands of RNs recently struck Sutter Bay Area facilities in two-day walkouts in October and December. At some hospitals, the walkouts were also extended by lockouts, when the facilities hired replacement workers on longer contracts that the two days of the strike itself.

FULL story at link.

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