Northern Calif. healthcare workers strike

September 24, 2008 12:13:29 PM PDT
Hundreds of healthcare workers in the East Bay are on strike at a chain of nursing homes in Northern California. Workers at Windsor Healthcare say they're trying to highlight the dangers faced by patients.

The nursing staff says family members of patients have nothing to worry about. They say they have more than enough replacement staff on Wednesday and Thursday to cover for all the employees that are out on the picket lines.

"We are very overworked and it's just not enough time in the day to get the things we need to do," said Stella Armour, nursing aide.

Armour is one of several hundred workers across Northern California that are walking the picket lines demanding better wages and quality health care for residents at Windsor nursing homes.

"Our main focus is to save that quality of care we can give our residents and to be able to have a voice on how the staffing levels should be," said Armour.

Windsor said the union has never requested higher staffing levels and the union wants an 11 percent wage increase, Windsor is offering four-percent increase.

"They are really spreading misinformation, they know full well they have never asked for higher staffing ratios and they need not because we staff well above the state average," said David Farrell, Windsor spokesman.

The union says Windsor is unwilling to negotiate. Company officials say the door is open. On the picket lines, employees are not chanting about wages that but they say what they get is not adequate and they want at least $16 an hour.

This strike will continue on Thursday. Some of these employees have been negotiating with Windsor for several months.


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