800 California hospital nurses plan strike

Members of California Nurses Association/National Nurses United plan to hold a 24-hour strike from May 1-2 at Washington Hospital Healthcare System in Fremont, Calif.

The union represents more than 800 nurses at Washington Hospital Healthcare System, according to a CNA/NNU news release. Washington Hospital Healthcare System includes a 415-bed hospital as well as various other services and facilities. 

Union members voted to authorize a strike in February. The union and hospital began negotiating a new labor contract in April 2023, according to CNA/NNU. Jerri Applegate Randrup, a hospital spokesperson, told Becker's that during negotiations, "there has been agreement on many important terms and significant increases offered by the hospital. WHHS has already offered over 20% increases in wages over the course of four years."

The union contends that during negotiations, the hospital has proposed changes that will not adequately address recruitment and retention of nurses. "Experienced staff nurses are essential to high-quality patient care, and we need a contract that ensures Washington Hospital is a place where nurses want to come to work and want to stay to work," Evie Merritt, RN, said in the union release. 

"We are hopeful that the parties can reach an agreement on a fair and sustainable contract," Ms. Randrup said. In the event of a strike, WHHS will take the necessary action to protect patients and minimize disruptions to health services. Patient care will continue, including emergency services, as we remain committed to serving our community and providing safe, high-quality care."

Both parties are scheduled to meet for mediation again on April 27. If there is no agreement and the strike takes place as planned, it will be the first strike at the public-sector hospital, according to the union.

Editor's note: This story was updated on April 24.

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