Barton Memorial Hospital nurses strike: 6 things to know

About 155 union-represented nurses at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., began a two-day strike April 16.

Six things to know:

1. Barton nurses voted to join the California Nurses Association in 2017 and began negotiations in March 2018. Nurses went on strike in 2019. That dispute has not been resolved. 

2. On April 5, the union notified the hospital of its members' intent to call a strike at the hospital. The strike began at 7:30 a.m. April 16.

3. The California Nurses Association said nurses are striking because the hospital is not willing to address patient safety issues, including inadequate staffing and nurse recruitment and retention problems. Nurses contend colleagues have left because of poor working conditions, staffing issues and because compensation and benefits do not allow nurses to live in the area. 

4. Barton disputes the union's claims. It said it provided a fair and equitable contract to the union in February 2020, and its last offer includes a 17 percent average pay increase over four years. The hospital also said it has spent money during the pandemic on equipment and facility upgrades related to COVID-19, has hired 21 nurses and has continued recruitment.

5. Hospital spokesperson Mindi Befu told Becker's April 16 that all services are continuing at the hospital without disruption, and the hospital is fully staffed with qualified replacement nurses, in addition to other scheduled staff and physicians. 

6. The strike is scheduled to end at 7:29 a.m. April 18.

More information about the strike and negotiations is available here and here


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