Nurses end Christmas Eve strike at Bay Area hospitals

The single-day strike started at 7 a.m. Monday and nurses represented by the California Nurses Association maintained the walkout overnight as hospitals used replacement workers to fill in, said Leslie Kelsay, spokeswoman for Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose.

Good Samaritan, which is employing 300 temporary replacement workers through Dec. 29, experienced no negative effects from the strike and continued to provide emergency and other patient services, Kelsay said.

Representatives of the nurses' union, representing 5,000 nurses at the eight hospitals participating in the walkout, could not be reached this morning.

Picket lines that started at 7 a.m. Monday at each hospital were disbanded at 3 p.m. for the Christmas holiday, union officials said.

The walkout stemmed from contract disputes with hospital companies Sutter Health and HCA Healthcare over health benefits, sick pay and staffing levels.

Dozens of nurses scheduled to work at Good Samaritan and the Regional Medical Center of San Jose joined picket lines Monday at both hospitals, which are owned by HCA.

Other nurses took part in the strike at six hospitals owned by Sutter Health, including two Alta Bates Summit Medical Center facilities in Berkeley and Oakland, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley and its affiliate San Leandro Hospital, Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo and Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch.

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