Alta Bates registered nurses last went out on a one-day strike on June 13. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Nurses at Alta Bates Summit Hospital on Ashby Avenue in Berkeley plan to strike today, the fifth walk-out since September 2011. The nurses are protesting concession demands they say “would undermine patient care protections as well as health and living standards for the registered nurses.”

Tuesday’s strike will affect 3,500 RNs, and also several hundred respiratory, X-ray, and other technicians at seven Alameda and San Mateo county hospitals operated by the Sutter corporation. A rally is planned at Alta Bates at 11:00 a.m.

“It has become necessary to strike again as Sutter has dug in its heels and refused to negotiate on any issue on the table,” said Alta Bates Summit RN Mike Hill in a statement published online. “They have said they want every takeaway proposed without exception despite record profits and executive salaries. This stance is unacceptable for our nurses, our communities, and our patients.”

Sutter countered that the nurses receive generous wages and benefits and have refused to be cooperative during ongoing negotiations.

“Instead of collaborating with us to resolve these contracts for our nurses, union leaders have rejected virtually every modest contract proposal by our hospitals to make our quality services more efficient and affordable to patients,” they said in a release on the Sutter Health website.

Nurses at Alta Bates last walked out on June 13. As with previous strikes, Sutter is expected to bring in temporary staff to cover for the staff shortages.

Sutter Health nurses strike at Alta Bates, 10 other hospitals [06.13.12]
On May Day nurses and Cal employees take to streets [05.01.12]
Nurses’ strike draws cheers and honking horns [09.22.11]

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...