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Santa Clara County guarantees open medical services during nurses' strike

Santa Clara County guarantees open medical services during nurses' strike
The RNPA says the nurses' strike in Santa Clara is to "stop the county's unfair labor practices" such is the case of the unilateral change of graphics requirements, management interference with union activity, among others.

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Santa Clara County said it is working to keep all critical services open for patients in the Valley's health care system during a three-day Santa Clara nurses' strike. Registered Nurses Professional Association (RNPA). 

The three-day strike began at 4:59 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2, and is scheduled to end at 6:59 a.m. on Friday, April 5. 

Through a statement, local health authorities detailed that some non-urgent appointments may be postponed and their providers may communicate directly with affected patients. 

“Our health system has been working tirelessly to ensure that patient care is minimally impacted by the RNPA strike, especially access to emergency and critical care services,” said County Executive James R. Williams. 

In that sense, he noted that they continue to invite the RNPA to return to the negotiating table to achieve "a fair and sustainable contract for both parties, and work together to continue providing quality medical care to the community."

The county and the RNPA have already reached tentative agreements on many key terms and priority areas for nurses, including workplace safety. 

However, health authorities said, the key issues that remain unresolved between the parties are overall salary increases and the temporary allocation of staff from one location to another to better align with patient volumes and needs across all hospitals and county clinics. 

?Health care professionals are part of the backbone of our safety net system and our nurses deserve fair and competitive compensation. “Is that why the county has provided 30 to 42 percent pay increases for RNPA members since 2020,” Williams said. 

More recently, after weeks of mediation with the RNPA, a third-party mediator issued a proposal outlining his vision for a fair compromise on all outstanding issues in the negotiations. It called for, among other benefits for RNPA members, a 13.6 percent compound increase in nurses' base salaries over the life of the contract. Unfortunately, the next day, the RNPA rejected the mediator's proposal and issued a strike notice. 

For its part, the RNPA says it is striking to "stop the county's unfair labor practices." such as unilateral changing of chart requirements, management interference with union activity, and manipulation of patient acuity standards.

 

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Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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