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Latest News - November 2011

November 18, 2011
Kaiser sues California Nurses Association over strike
Source: Sacramento Business Journal
By: Kathy Robertson, Senior Staff Writer

Kaiser Permanente has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the California Nurses Association violated a no-strike clause in its collective bargaining agreement when it called a statewide strike by Kaiser nurses in September.

Billed as the largest nurses’ strike in state history, CNA called a massive walkout Sept. 22-23 by as many as 22,700 nurses, including 17,000 at Kaiser, 5,000 at Sutter Health  and 700 at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Other workers at other unions joined the walkout, too.

CNA’s current contract with Kaiser — which went into effect Sept. 1 — includes a mutually agreed upon provision that prohibits work stoppages and strikes for the life of the three-year contract, Kaiser alleges in the lawsuit. The strike required Kaiser to hire hundreds of temporary nurses and additional staff, limit elective medical procedures and transfer critical care through special teams, all at considerable expense.

Kaiser filed a grievance against the union Oct. 18, requesting a discussion to address the issue using the dispute resolution process spelled out in the contract.

CNA rejected the request Nov. 7, claiming the no-strike provision does not apply to sympathy strikes and that only the union has the right to file a grievance under the contract, court documents allege.

Kaiser seeks a court order compelling the union to arbitrate Kaiser’s grievance.

CNA spokesman Chuck Idelson said the union has a strong history — known to Kaiser — of providing support for other unions.

 

 


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