Nurses Union Alleges Intimidation by Sutter

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By Emma Lierley

As several thousand striking nurses continue to picket ten Bay Area Sutter Health hospitals this week, the California Nurses Association announced Thursday that they have filed charges against Sutter Health for mistreatment of their members.

Alleging continued harassment and threats made against striking nurses, along with failure to bargain “in good faith,” the union lodged their complaints with the National Labor Relations Board. CNA official Shum Preston told the Guardian Thursday that the charges are being brought forward on behalf of a few specific nurses who have received direct threats, as well as many nurses who faced hostile situations in their hospitals.

Amie Davidow, a striking labor and delivery nurse with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, told the Guardian Thursday that “nurse managers are calling people at home, threatening them with losing their job, loss of health benefits, and threats of suspension.”

Davidow said that she herself has received no direct harassment but that, “there are a lot of nurses very scared about [these threats].”

When we asked CPMC representative Kevin McCormick about the charges, he strongly disputed their validity, and claimed that they were made to drum up sensational media headlines. “This is the third time our nurses have been on strike, and we have never done anything to them in the past. Why would we do something now?”

McCormick added that the dispute was with the union, and not the nurses themselves. “We want the nurses to come back to work after the strike. We want to have the best relationship we can with our nurses,” he said.