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Nurses At Bay Area, NorCal Sutter Health Facilities To Picket Over Health, Safety Concerns

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – Registered nurses at the Sutter Tracy Community Hospital along with 14 other Sutter health facilities across Northern California will be holding informational pickets Tuesday in protest of the health network's alleged refusal to address health and safety concerns, the California Nurses Association and the National Nurses United said in a press release Sunday.

The pickets will take place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Locations include Vallejo, Santa Rosa, Crescent City, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Castro Valley, Antioch, Auburn, Roseville, Lakeport, Burlingame, Novato, and Sacramento.

"We have been on the front lines before and during this pandemic," said Amy Erb, a critical care RN at California Pacific Medical Center of San Francisco. "Throughout this time, we have witnessed Sutter Health become profitable while they refuse to invest in the resources, we need in order for us to provide safe and effective care to our patients and community."

The nurses' association said Sutter has refused to discuss the registered nurses' proposals on issues about staffing, workplace violence, and pandemic readiness.

"Sutter Health is not investing in us, the nurses, or the community they should be serving," said Renee Waters, RN in the trauma neuro intensive care unit at Sutter Roseville. "Instead, they are frequently using the word 'commitment' in their responses to us without actually agreeing to proposals that hold them accountable. Sutter failed us during the pandemic."

According to the press release, Sutter Health nurses have been in contract negotiations since June 2021. They are asking for provisions including: safe staffing that allows nurses to provide safe and therapeutic care; pandemic readiness protections; presumptive eligibility for workers' compensation that covers infectious diseases and protocols that ensure nurses have the resources needed to keep their patients and themselves safe; and workplace violence protections that include plans to mitigate and prevent violence within the hospitals and comply with the state's workplace violence prevention law.

© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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