April 19, 2022

8,000 Sutter Health Nurses Strike Over Unsafe Staffing

8,000 Sutter Health Nurses Strike Over Unsafe Staffing

Over 8,000 nurses went on strike, Monday, April 18th, at 15 Sutter Health locations across Northern California. According to the California Nurses Association and National Nurse United (NNU) nurses and healthcare workers are striking due to Sutter Health’s refusal to address their proposals about safe staffing and health and safety protections.

“Nurses overwhelmingly voted to go out on strike because we see no other option left for us and our patients," said Amy Erb, an RN who works in Critical Care at California Pacific Medical Center. "We have tried repeatedly to address the chronic and widespread problem of short staffing that causes delays in care and potentially puts patients at risk, but hospital administrators continue to ignore us. We have a moral and legal obligation to advocate for our patients. We advocate for them at the bedside, at the bargaining table, and if we have to, on the strike line.”

Image: Instagram - @the.nurse.erica

Since June 2021 nurses, as well as other health care workers, have been in negotiations with Sutter Health for a new contract. Unfortunately, administrators are not budging on key issues which are essential for the staff.  Part of the negotiations includes the following: 

safe staffing that allows nurses to provide safe and therapeutic care and

pandemic readiness protections that require the hospitals to invest in personal protective equipment stockpiles and comply with California's PPE stockpile law.

Sutter Health is not accepting these terms. 

Image: Instagram - the.nurse.erica

“The Sutter nurses voted for this strike,” said Renee Waters, a Trauma Neuro Intensive Care RN with 26 years of experience. “We are striking because Sutter is not transparent about the stockpile of PPE supplies and contact tracing. They resist having nurses directly involved in the planning and implementation of policies that affect all of us during a pandemic. We must address these issues and more. A fair contract is needed to retain experienced nurses, have sufficient staffing and training, and ensure we have the resources we need to provide safe and effective care for our patients. Nurses are fighting back against Sutter putting profits before patients and health care workers.”

Sutter Health was hoping the nurses would call off the one-day strike; however, that has not happened. In fact, even more, staff has shown up to picket. Sutter Health released the following statement regarding the strike,

“Despite resuming negotiations with the involvement of a federal mediator, the California Nurses Association (CNA) has refused to call off their strike beginning 7 a.m. Monday. Work stoppages at 18 of our sites – even for a single day — require complex and costly preparation, and obligate us to make plans that our teams, patients, and communities can rely on. Given the uncertainty of a looming strike, and in order to provide surety for our patients, communities, and care teams, we will staff our hospitals on Monday with the contracted replacement workers where needed. We hope the CNA union will call off this strike so our nurses can return to work and do what they do best — care for our patients. We remain committed to continuing bargaining as long as negotiations are progressing effectively toward averting the strike.”

According to the Union, Nurses and health care workers will be picketing from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST at the following facilities:

  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (Summit Campus)
  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (Ashby Campus)
  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (Herrick Campus)
  • Sutter Solano Medical Center
  • Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital
  • Sutter Coast Hospital
  • Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
  • California Pacific Medical Center
  • Santa Cruz VNA
  • Eden Medical Center
  • Sutter Delta Medical Center
  • Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital
  • Sutter Roseville Medical Center
  • Sutter Lakeside Hospital
  • Mills-Peninsula Medical Center
  • Novato Community Hospital
  • Sutter Center for Psychiatry


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