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Memorial Hospital nurses issue strike notice

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

By MARTIN ESPINOZA

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The nurses union at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital has filed a notice of intent to launch a three-day strike at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

The notice, submitted to hospital administration Thursday afternoon, comes just one week before the contract between the Staff Nurses Association and Memorial Hospital expires on Sept. 30.

A hospital spokeswoman said negotiations between the nurses association and the hospital are ongoing and that the next round of talks is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 27.

The proposed strike would begin at 5 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 4 and end Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 5 a.m.

The union represents about 615 nurses at Memorial Hospital, 15 nurses at the hospital’s nearby ambulatory surgery center and 20 nurses at St. Joseph urgent care centers in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, according to Sue Gadbois, president of nurses association.

St. Joseph Health System operates Memorial Hospital.

The nurses union contends that a number of “unresolved” issues remain, including: losses of eligibility for overtime; inadequate staffing to fulfill patients’ needs; the availability of nurses with specialized skills; proposed cuts in vacation and sick leave; cuts in pay for nurses on-call and a disagreement over health benefits for retired nurses.

In a statement Thursday, the hospital said it is committed to working in good faith with the nurses union during contract negotiations and that it hopes it can avoid a strike.

But the hospital said that it has stand-by nurses ready to do the work of striking nurses.

Gadbois said the 10-day notice is legally required before any strike takes place.

“What that does is preserve the ability of the nurses to strike if they want,” she said. “We are going to continue to negotiate right through the 30th. If we fail to reach an agreement, at some point soon after that, there would be a strike vote.”





9 Responses to “Memorial Hospital nurses issue strike notice”

  1. Heather Wooten says:

    I believe this is the most honorable gesture to patient safety.. We are wasting time with being passive to the agenda management is putting onto nurses work harder with less! Give us more time to provide honest decent care to those in need and I think we can all sleep a little easier at night.

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  2. Liz says:

    Nurses do not strike to help themselves they strike to help their patients. St Joseph’s Health System is well known as a greedy corporate healthcare company; they hide behind a veil of non-profit “piety” when in reality they are a profit making entity like any other, always looking to cut corners & cut costs. The nurses deserve every benefit they have and more, they are the last protective barrier between the healthcare system and the patients and are on the front line ervy single day.

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  3. Really Big Fish says:

    Did someone say unions really do care about people. If they strike through the unions out. I know nurses who have worked fro 35 years in the professsion in major hospitals like Sutter and not in the union.The hospital needs a awake call too!

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  4. Mrs Pieri says:

    Seniors support Santa Rosa Memorial nurses. Seniors know how wonderful and dedicated the nurses are at SRMH and how well they take care of their patients. I understand that the hospital, ironically, wants to cut the nurses health benefits. We want healthy nurses that have good benefits and health insurance so they can get their patients healthy as well. The hospital should provide their own nurses with the support that they need. The nurses at memorial are the most highly trained nurses in the state but the lowest paid in the county. This is a level 2 trauma center for the State of California. It can not be shut down and is the hospital for rural small towns of Northern California. This strike is not about getting benefits, it is about preventing the cutting of existing and already accumulated benefits. Our group of Seniors will delay any appointments at SRMH and will not cross the picket line until this is resolved.

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  5. ann willows says:

    This will shut down the city and this will cause a crisis. We will not have a hospital and that is serious matter. The community supports nurses. The hospital is acting petty with cutting benefits. This will cost our state millions when the state has to come in to stop the strike over the hospital cutting benefits. The hospital should not cut benefits to nurse. In my mother’s time, there was no staffed hospital and it was horrific for her. No one will cross the picket line and you are risking your life if you think you can be given adequate care by temps and floats.

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  6. Donna Ryan says:

    I am so sick of hardworking nurses at Sutter (Marin General) and Sutter(Community) and now Memorial Hospital having to strike to maintain fair salaries and protect the level of health care services for the rest of us….Those who think we should start” outsourcing” or privatizing at our local trauma and critical care hospitals hasn’t spent much time at the majority of convalescent care faciliities in the area.

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  7. Worried Mom says:

    The ability of medical staff and nurses to provide safe health care always concerns me. Sure, these are hard times, and I am also sure the nurses are glad to have jobs. Most nurses I know go into the field because they want to help others and are hard working, caring individuals. I don’t think the nurses are being frivolous in their concerns at all. Having had a loved on in the hospital recently, I take such matters seriously. Caring for seriously ill human beings is not the same as other jobs. If mistakes get made due to poor staffing, someone’s life may be at risk. I recall that the hospital had a huge layoff of supportive staff/nurse aids etc (was that a year ago or so?) I think the safety concerns of the nurses are valid. I don’t want to be a patient in any hospital where the nurses cannot adequately assess and provide timely care to their patients.

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  8. Mike says:

    Let the nurses go out on strike not for three days but permanently. The hospital can hire nurses who want to serve and care for patients. How much are these nurses making now?? They want more overtime, more money. They don’t want cuts in benefits. Hello, this is the real world today. Look at the unemployment in California. You are lucky to have a job right now. Get real folks.

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  9. Reality check needed says:

    I respect all our healthcare workers, but in a time of such economial turmoil, strike.. really? The hospital wont suffer, they’ll bring in temps/floats.

    Your will be the ones to suffer patients suffer..

    Decent pay, shift differentials, benefits and other perks all turn into a nice salary without the OT.

    How about you be greatful you have a job, and take care of your patients, send your union back to the table and deal with your adminstrators. Wouldn’t hurt either if some of the upper management skimmed off the top of their salaries to help keep the hospital in the blank and hire physicians that actually want to take care patients instead of shipping them all over town and out of the county because they they dont want to take call.

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