By the Daily Post staff
About 5,000 nurses at Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, who make as much as $200,000 a year, went on strike Monday (April 25).
The hospitals are offering the nurses a 12% raise over the next three years, while the nurse’s union is asking for 20%. The two sides started at 10% and 24% respectively.
The hospitals will remain open with replacement nurses. A bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday.
Besides wages, bonuses are also an issue. The hospitals are offering nurses a bonus of 1% of their salary each year, while the union is asking for a $3,000 bonus this year and another $3,000 bonus in 2025.
Under Stanford Health Care’s proposal, they would make about $157,000 at the end of the contract, while the union’s proposal would bring them to about $168,000.
At the top of the pay scale, clinical nurses make about $200,000 per year. Stanford Health Care’s proposal would bring them to $224,000, while the unions want $240,000.
Stanford Health Care reported net income of $457 million in 2019, according to an IRS document, and CEO David Entwistle was paid $2.8 million.
The union, the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement or CRONA, said that 93% of eligible nurses voted to authorize the strike.
Burnout cited by union
“As one of the nation’s top health care systems, Stanford and Packard have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and work with nurses to solve the burnout and exhaustion that is driving many of us to reconsider our jobs and our profession,” said Colleen Borges, president of CRONA and a pediatric oncology nurse at Packard Children’s Hospital.
“We’ve been disappointed by hospital administrators’ consistent refusal to acknowledge the reality of understaffing: constant requests for overtime, little time for rest with our families and insufficient support for our mental health. A strike has always been the last resort for CRONA nurses, but we are prepared to stand strong and make sacrifices today for the transformative changes that the nursing profession needs.”
Hospital officials disappointed
Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Patient Care Services for Stanford Health Care Dale E. Beatty and Jesus Cepero, senior vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer for Stanford Children’s Health, said in a joint statement the hospitals will remain open with qualified replacement nurses.
“We respect our nurses’ legal right to take part in a work stoppage but are deeply disappointed that the union chose this path,” the statement said. “A union work stoppage is a serious event that is disruptive to our patients, families and colleagues. The impact can be deep, long lasting and costly. We have worked diligently to reach a mutually acceptable contract agreement and have made meaningful progress at the bargaining table so far.”