California nurses threaten daylong strike

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Nurses at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., said they may go on strike Feb. 15 over staffing issues, according to KOLO, an ABC-affiliate TV station.

The nurses are represented by the California Nurses Association. They say they want the hospital to improve staffing and boost  efforts to retain experienced nurses, KOLO reports.

The planned strike would be for one day.

Hospital officials told the TV station they are preparing accordingly, which includes hiring qualified replacement nurses to replace striking workers. They said the contract with the staffing agency requires a minimum of five days for the replacement nurses, so nurses who strike Feb. 15 will not be able to go back to their jobs until Feb. 20, or soon thereafter depending on scheduling.

Union officials called the hospital's plan "disturbing" and told KOLO keeping striking nurses away from their jobs for extra days would cause  "unnecessary hardship."

Both sides have been negotiating  for nearly a year. According there have been 26 tentative agreements, but wages and benefits have not  been discussed.


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