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Opinion: Why I Support the Eden Hospital Nurses

With an employer like Sutter, its no wonder nurses have gone out on strike.

As a union leader in the schools, I’m proud to not only represent teachers but also school nurses. I know that coming to school healthy each day is a basic prerequisite for learning and succeeding. Our schools wouldn't function without the behind the scenes work of our nurses.

So that’s why I was proud to join the picket line outside of this morning. Just like my school needs the skills of a nurse, our community needs healthcare. Nurses at Eden are on the frontlines of healthcare in Castro Valley. It’s a shame they have to

Eden Hospital is part of Sutter Health. One of Sutter’s demands is to force nurses to work overtime. Sure it’s paid, but who wants a fatigued nurse tending to them or a loved one?

Another one of Sutter’s demands is to eliminate paid sick leave for nurses. That’s exactly what we want to discourage: nurses coming to work when they’re sick. (Schools ask students with fever or vomiting to stay home until 24 hours after their symptoms have cleared up, precisely so we don’t infect others.)

With an employer like that, no wonder nurses have gone out on strike.

I stand behind these nurses unequivocally. Our healthcare system is already ruled by the pursuit of the almighty dollar. The nurses and their union act as a check on the most rampant abuses of healthcare providers.

Sutter can afford to do better by the community. Even with an active, unionized workforce their 2010 profits “soared” 30 percent to $878 million.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a little more of that trickled down to nurses and patient care or reinvested in our local schools?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Richard Mellor May 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM
You're wasting your time spending it on this David guy. He's an internet addict who is a mouthpiece for the corporations. Of course we strike for personal gain. If we hadn't, people like him would not have many of the benefits and freedoms he has in society. Our "personal" gain and Donald Trump's are two different things. In the case of nurses they are productive members of society, Trump is a parasite on it. I was at the Town Hall meeting the other night about San Leandro hospital and it's clear that the well worn out strategy of the Labor hierarchy, relying on the Democrats and the courts will fail once more. The alternative for the entrenched bureaucracy atop our Unions though is much worse, mobilizing the ranks and the communities in an offensive of our own against the assault of the 1% on our living standards. There is nothing that terrifies the Union officialdom more than that. They see the Unions as employment agencies with them as the CEO's. It's a business to them, David should appreciate that. The problem was apparent the other night as politicians who are forcing concessions on us can address an audience of workers and claim to be with us to the end with not a word of criticism from the officials. Criticism is stifled for fear of threatening this unholy alliance between the Labor leadership and the Democrats that has brought us nothing but defeats. Continued
Richard Mellor May 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Mayor Cassidy was there as was Jim Prola, claiming to be with the nurses but saying nothing that would inspire. They both support wage freezes for city workers for 7 years, attacks on pensions and refuse to fight to restore previous cuts. They are implementing these policies on behalf of the 1%. With friends like these, who needs enemies. Shame on the labor leadership for refusing to point this out; it just demoralizes workers further when the defeats hit home.
anthony May 04, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Don't your replacements require five day contracts ?
Jacob Michael May 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM
And a public relations manager makes over 106K, according to the table you linked. I have no problem with a nurse who has the skills and training to keep me alive making what a PR manager makes. If a PR manager makes a mistake, no one dies. Why are you shocked that skilled professionals in a physically and emotionally demanding profession earn 106K? I know software engineers that earn twice that. As has been stated, the strike isn't about salaries. It's about things like telling sick nurses they have to come to work and mandatory over-time.
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