SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – About 8,000 nurses and healthcare workers are gathering at 15 different Sutter Health facilities for a one-day strike.

Those on the picket line said they are protesting unsafe staffing and protective equipment levels.

Sutter Health nurses and healthcare workers say they have been in negotiations since June for a new contract, but there has been little to no movement.

Union workers hope this strike urges management to invest in more nursing staff so they can provide the best care, and they want more protections against COVID-19 with a enough personal protective equipment supply for all staff.

Amy Erb, a registered nurse, said “We want more than anything to be at the bedsides taking care of our patients. That’s why we’re nurses. That’s what we want to do, but we need the resources in order to do so.”

Sutter Health has released a statement explaining how this strike will affect its hospitals.

“By moving forward with today’s costly and disruptive strike, union leadership has made it clear they are willing to put politics above patients and the nurses they represent – despite the intervention of federal mediators and our willingness to bargain in good faith while under threat of a strike,” the statement reads. “Our attention is on providing safe, high-quality care to the patients and communities we’re honored to serve. We are confident in our ability to manage this disruption. We are hopeful CNA shares our desire to reach an agreement and enable our nurses to turn their focus back to the patients the union has asked them to walk away from.”

Nurses said they voted to go on strike because they feel like they have no other option for them and their patients. 

The strike will be all day, from 7am-11am as well as from 2pm-6pm. 

Sutter Health says it’s ready to continue bargaining today to avoid the strike from continuing.