Nurses Locked Out After Strike At 8 Bay Area Hospitals

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Thousands of nurses, who went on strike at eight Bay Area hospitals on Thursday, were locked out on Friday and won’t be allowed to return to work until the weekend.

The labor dispute means that Sutter Health has had to hire fill-in nurses from all over the country. And hospitals hit by the one day walkout had to promise those replacement nurses two days of work, meaning another lost day for those who went on strike.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Alta Bates nurse Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto said she is concerned about the safety of her patients.

“I really question how well these nurses are being trained,” she said. “I know that with the first strike, they didn’t train them at all and we all saw what happened there.”

During the last strike, a patient died at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland. Alta Bates Summit Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Steve O’Brien said that things are fine this time around, partly because many of the staff nurses crossed the picket line.

“I’ve been on the ward. They’ve been on every unit in both of our hospitals,” he said. “And the replacement nurses are working side-by-side with our regular nurses and providing excellent care.”

UCSF professor Joanne Spetz, a specialist on nursing care, said the replacement nurses are fully licensed and properly trained.

“The problem in where patients should be concerned is that they’re not familiar with the local processes,” she said. “They don’t know the doctors, they don’t know the electronic health records, they don’t know where exactly the supplies cabinet is.”

The agency that provides replacement nurses insisted they work two days and get paid for five.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • David Legnosky

    If your going to pay them for five days, make them work five days. Maybe the loss of five days pay will make the regular nurses think twice before allowing their union to mess with their livelihood.

  • NormaJean

    dock the stiking nurses for the exta cost of the replacements too many people are out of work and would be very glad to get any kind of job. Striking is really the same as a child throwing a temper tantrum

  • Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto

    When your company is making $878 million dollars in profits in one year and it is supposed to be a not for profit company, there is no reason for it to cut the benefits and wages of its employees. The CEO of the company received a 40% raise this year. The middle class in shrinking due to corporate greed. Should all Americans take pay cuts to give more money to CEOs?

  • Jim

    No sympathy from myself, they hooked my father up with morphine and watched him die at one of these. Sure they walked in every hour . These people are killers in a way.

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