Thousands of Stanford Health Care nurses launch campaign for new contracts

Thousands of registered nurses at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital have launched a campaign for new union contracts, as their current agreements are set to expire March 31, according to an independent union representing them. 

The Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement, which represents about 5,000 RNs at Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, cited workers' desire to improve mental health standards, staffing and working conditions. The union also cited a recent survey of thousands of nurses represented by CRONA at Stanford and Packard hospitals showing that 44 percent of respondents are considering leaving the hospitals in the near future. 

"It's an incredibly hard time to be a healthcare professional. As a nurse, the last two years have taken a toll, but the issues we face on the job did not start with the pandemic,” Roschelle Parado, a registered nurse at Stanford Health Care in the cardiology and cardiac surgery departments, said in a Feb. 2 news release. "We work tirelessly to keep our patients and the Bay Area community healthy. It's time for Stanford management to support us and do everything possible to ensure the highest levels of patient care. We are fighting for a strong union contract that will help retain nurses, ensure safe staffing, and create a sustainable workplace so we can continue caring for each patient that comes through our doors."

The union represents RNs who work in areas including operating rooms and critical care units, the emergency department and outpatient clinics, and pediatric and adult oncology departments. 

In a statement shared with Becker's, Dale Beatty, DNP, RN, chief nurse executive and vice president of patient care services for Stanford Health Care, and Jesus Cepero, PhD, RN, senior vice president of patient care and CNO for Stanford Children's Health, expressed their commitment to negotiations with the union. 

"We are committed to working with the union to reach agreement on fair contracts for our nurses that recognizes their professional skills and dedication to our patients," the statement said.

Drs. Beatty and Cepero added that they are focusing on supporting nurses at the bedside, as well as the health system's ongoing efforts to strengthen care teams and recognize all staff with competitive pay and benefits, while ensuring workers are provided with an array of benefits to promote mental health and wellness.

"The pandemic has been extraordinarily difficult for healthcare professionals across California and the nation," their statement said. "We're proud of what we've been able to do for our caregivers. From the very start, we committed to preserving jobs, maintaining nurse-patient staffing ratios at all times and doing everything in our power to keep our employees and patients safe."

The next contract negotiations are scheduled for Feb. 3 and Feb. 8. 

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