Sutter Claims Many Nurses Crossed Picket Line Tuesday

CONTRA COSTA (KCBS)— Thousands of registered nurses conducted a one-day strike against Sutter Health over patient care and workplace conditions. But now there’s a dispute over exactly how many nurses actually participated in the walkout.

The California Nurses Association (CNA) reports as many as 4,500 nurses walked off the job, affecting several Sutter Health hospitals. But according to Sutter’s corporate spokeswoman a number of RN’s crossed the picket line. One figure was as high as 62 percent and another much lower estimate was at 29 percent.

“Each of our hospitals reported to us the number of nurses who decided not to support the union strike,” said Karen Garner.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

CNA spokesmen Chuck Idelson disputed the figures.

“They use almost the same numbers they used in December. They just make these numbers up,” he said.

When Idelson was asked how many nurses did cross over, he answered “probably a few.”

Sutter reports an RN working full-time at a hospital earns on average $136,000 plus health benefits. “Not true,” said Idleson.

He contends this strike would not have occurred had Sutter withdrawn concession demands.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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