NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (CBS13) — Nurses and healthcare workers will be striking for one day across Northern California to protest Sutter Health’s refusal to address their proposals about safe staffing and health and safety protections, announced the California Nurses Association (CNA), an affiliate of National Nurses United, and CNA affiliate Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union (CHEU) today.

More than 8,000 registered nurses and healthcare workers are participating in the strike on Monday, April 18th.

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Sutter nurses and healthcare workers have been in negotiations since June 2021 for new contracts and have seen little to no results.

Their main demands are safe staffing that allows nurses to provide safe and therapeutic care and pandemic readiness protections that require the hospitals to invest in personal protective equipment stockpiles and comply with California’s PPE stockpile law.

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“The Sutter nurses voted for this strike,” said Renee Waters, a Trauma Neuro Intensive Care RN with 26 years of experience. “We are striking because Sutter is not transparent about the stockpile of PPE supplies and contact tracing. They resist having nurses directly involved in the planning and implementation of policies that affect all of us during a pandemic. We must address these issues and more. A fair contract is needed to retain experienced nurses, have sufficient staffing and training, and ensure we have the resources we need to provide safe and effective care for our patients. Nurses are fighting back against Sutter putting profits before patients and health care workers.”

“Nurses overwhelmingly voted to go out on strike because we see no other option left for us and our patients,” said Amy Erb, RN, who works in Critical Care at California Pacific Medical Center. “We have tried repeatedly to address the chronic and widespread problem of short staffing that causes delays in care and potentially puts patients at risk, but hospital administrators continue to ignore us. We have a moral and legal obligation to advocate for our patients. We advocate for them at the bedside, at the bargaining table, and if we have to, on the strike line.”

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Nurses and healthcare workers will be striking from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 15 different Sutter facilities across Northern California.