4,000 nurses to join picket lines in San Mateo County

About 4,000 registered nurses at eight Bay Area hospitals will be on strike today, but hospital officials say patient care won’t suffer.

The one-day strike by the California Nurses Association against the Sutter Health chain affects two Peninsula hospitals, Mills Health Center in San Mateo and Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame.

Sutter said hospitals will remain open during the walk-out, which follows a September action against Sutter and Kaiser Permanente.

The hospitals will bring in replacement nurses to handle patient care.

Sutter officials, who are negotiating a contract with the union, said their average nurse makes $136,000 per year, has 40 paid days off and will retire with an $84,000-a-year pension.

The chain wants to change the system for sick leave and make nurses pay more for health insurance and retirement. The union says Sutter, a nonprofit, pays its CEO $4.7 million a year.

Picket lines will begin at 7 a.m.

acrawford@sfexaminer.com

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