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Health Care Workers Strike

Nurses and health care workers at 15 facilities across Northern California staged a one-day strike Monday, April 18, to protest what they say is Sutter Health’s refusal to address their proposals about safe staffing and health and safety protections. The strike was announced by the California Nurses Association (CNA), an affiliate of National Nurses United, and CNA affiliate Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union (CHEU).

Nurses and health care workers gave advance notice to Sutter Health for the strike. More than 8,000 registered nurses and health care workers participated.

Sutter Health RNs and health care workers have been in negotiations since June 2021 for a new contract, with little to no movement on key issues. They urge management to invest in nursing staff and agree to a contract that provides 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.

The strike at 15 Sutter facilities ran from 7 a.m. Monday, April 18 to 6:59 a.m. Tuesday, April 19.

“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 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 and health care workers picketed at facilities ranging from Vallejo to Tracy, Santa Francisco to Crescent City.