County medical center’s nurses prepare to strike

Nurses at San Mateo County Medical Center said Thursday that they intend to issue a 10-day strike notice if the county doesn’t meet their contract demands.

Nurses represented by the California Nurses Association union rallied at the hospital Thursday, asking the county not to reduce pensions and retiree health benefits for 263 nurses who belong to the union. Negotiations began in late January to renew the contract, which expired March 25.

“It’s definitely a sign that they’re prepared to fight,” CNA representative Joann Jung said. She was not sure when the 10-day notice would be delivered.

Registered nurse Liz Jacobs said 180 nurses have left the medical center since 2001. She said the county nurses are the lowest paid in the Bay Area.

Tim Sullivan, county director of labor relations, denied that turnover was that high, pegging it at 7 percent to 9 percent and saying it had gone down in recent years.

Nurses are also paid comparably to their peers at other hospitals, Sullivan said. Nurses’ wages at the medical center range from $7,093 to $8,279 per month, depending on position and seniority.

County negotiators have offered nurses an across-the-board salary increase that keeps wages competitive and offers an additional increase in positions that are hardest to fill, such as staff nursing positions, according to Sullivan.

The medical center will develop a contingency plan if the nurses strike, hospital spokesman Dave Hook said.

The center handles about 145,000 inpatient stays and 31,000 emergency-room visits per year.

bwinegarner@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read