ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — Healthcare workers at 15 Sutter Heath locations in California are staging a one-day walkout Monday over what they say is their employer’s refusal to address proposals about safe staffing and health and safety protections.
Members of the California Nursing Association and the Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union voted to approve the strike arguing that Sutter has not been transparent about its stockpiles of personal protective equipment and contact tracing.
“Not worrying where my next mask is going to come from or if it’s going to be there with the next surge or any other equipment I may need, what a difference that makes,” said IC trauma nurse Renee Waters.
Sutter Health said it will cover the temporary shortage with contractors.
“We notified CNA today that if the uncertainty of a strike remains this afternoon, we will staff our hospitals on Monday with the contracted replacement workers. … We stand ready to continue bargaining today as long as negotiations are progressing effectively toward averting the strike,” Sutter Health said in a statement.
Although Waters believed a strike was a last resort, one member of the California Nurses Association and Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union deemed it necessary.
“The health and safety of patients and staff is always Sutter’s highest priority,” Sutter Health said in a statement.
According to Sutter Health, it secured 165 million pieces of personal protective equipment which includes masks, face shields, and isolation gowns.
“We are given some information but it’s always very limited. It’s just not easy to get, and it shouldn’t be that way. We need to know what we have, when we need it, and we should feel protected,” Waters said.
CNA said more than 8,000 registered nurses and healthcare workers will participate in the walkout, which will start at 7:00 a.m. Monday and last until Tuesday morning unless the union and Sutter come to an agreement sooner.