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Registered nurses from nearly a dozen hospitals in California walked out on the job, grabbed picket signs and held a one-day strike Wednesday to protest massive cuts to patient care and RN livelihood.
Many marched outside Sutter Health hospitals in the Bay Area where the corporation is proposing some 100 widespread reductions in patient services and RN contract standards.  
As patient advocates, they can’t stand by and let a greedy corporation — that has raked in nearly $4.2 billion in profits since 2005 — create a system that can harm patients and nursing standards.

Some of the takeaways include eliminating paid sick leave, effectively forcing nurses to work when ill, and making RNs work in hospital areas where they do not have appropriate clinical expertise, again a safety risk for patients.

Alta Bates Summit, Oakland7
Nurses march outside Alta Bates Summit, Oakland

While Sutter shells out millions of dollars to its top 20 executives, it’s shutting down much needed patient services in communities desperate for care. For example, Sutter ended breast cancer screening for women with disabilities and most bone marrow transplant services for cancer patients at Alta Bates Summit in Oakland and Berkeley. The corporation ended psychiatric services under a contract with Sacramento County for more than 225 children.
Sutter gave a $1 million gift to the Sacramento Kings while it closed a birthing center at Sutter Auburn Faith, which has forced new mothers to travel up to a 100 miles for obstetrics care. Sutter closed the specialized pediatric care, acute rehabilitation, dialysis and skilled nursing care serves at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame and San Mateo.
At a rally at the Peninsula campus, Mills-Peninsula RN Sharon Tobin told the crowd that nurses are going to keep fighting Sutter, pointing out every service they cut.
“We are going to keep it up ... because this is our community and these are our patients. We will never give up on our patients’ rights,” she said.

AB rally1
California Nurses Association/National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro

The strike affected 4,500 RNs who work at Sutter hospitals.
A nurse outside Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland carried a sign saying, “I’ve worked for you for 33 years and this is how you say thanks?”
Another marched with a sign saying, “Over $4 billion in profits and you can’t afford my health care?”

Alta Bates Summit Oakland, 2

At a rally in Oakland, RN Martha Kuhl, who also is the treasurer of the California Nurses Association, told the crowd that everyone knows Sutter isn’t poor.
“They have no economic excuse to do what they are trying to do,” she said. “They have decided to cut services to our communities. They have decided to roll back nursing standards for many years and it’s inexcusable. . . . We are a line of defense against this and don’t you forget it.”
 At Petaluma Valley Hospital, nearly 100 nurses walked the picket line at the facility, which is part of Orange County-based St. Joseph Health Systems.
They protested the hospital officials’ demands for cuts that will lead to nursing practice and patient care standards.
Nurses at two other St. Joseph’s facilities — St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley and St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka — held pickets to show support for their colleagues.

Originally posted to National Nurses Movement on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 05:52 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and German American Friendship Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How can people here help you? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, LamontCranston, JayRaye

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 07:07:59 PM PDT

  •  I would rather be treated by a good RN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Then a great doctor. Nurses know and have more patient experience.

    Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things. Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

    by arealniceguy on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 07:14:57 PM PDT

  •  Derailing Sutter's Profit Express... (6+ / 0-)

    I couldn't be more proud of these nurses for exercising their duty to prevent harm. Sutter is extremely profitable and does not need to make cuts that punish nurses, endanger patients, or reduce services.

    Clearly, Sutter's greed is careening out of control and putting patients at risk. Sutter has been arrogantly cutting services it deems less profitable, targeting medically underserved communities, and patients, and putting their profit ledgers ahead of what their patients need.

    Now, Sutter is retaliating against nurses who are the last line of defense for patients, because these nurses have been a public barrier to Sutter’s campaign to close hospitals and reduce patient services.

    Sutter, WTF? Where's the Fairness?

  •  Public Sector Nurse supports CNA/Sutter Nurses (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, JayRaye

    This is no different than what the public sector tried to do to the nurses here in San Francisco.  We were told by our mayor to accept draconian cuts including increased rates for our health care and dental while the administrators and doctors took raises.  In addition, our Mayor proposed changes in our safe staffing ratios to make matters far worse at SFGH.  Our bargaining team got approval for a one day "day without nurse" strike like the CNA nurses and when we advised the we we coming to the Mayor's photo op to lay the last beam of the new hospital they scheduled a meeting and basically caved .

    We did not achieve what we wanted but the thought of nurses picketing a sitting Mayor worked.  This is not about money .  Sutter rolling in the doe and has enough to build yet another money maker on the Van Ness corridor (busiest section of SF) while cutting nurses benefits and salaries.  Sutter should be ashamed of itself.  This is about corporate power and who will win that power and control.

    Thank Sutter Nurses and NNU.  Your example to other nurses helps to inspire others to stand up for themselves.  If only others in the labor movement would do the same, more people in the private and public sector would join.

    This public sector nurse thanks you.  

  •  dear CA Nurses (0+ / 0-)

    from Texas

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

    by JayRaye on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:16:41 AM PDT

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