Sutter Health workers in Antioch go on strike

Bay Area

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KRON) — Over 350 healthcare workers at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch are on strike Monday.

The walkout started at 5 a.m. and workers plan to give speeches later in the morning.

Employees say management is ignoring their concerns about being understaffed.

“We’re wearing too many hats – we’re talking down angry COVID patients, then we’re rushing to a code, then we’re talking to family members who just lost a loved one. We can’t give adequate care. We feel like management is ignoring our concerns and is leaving us to fend for ourselves. We can’t do it all anymore,” Jennifer Stone, an emergency room technician, said in a news release.

Sutter Health released a statement in response to the strike, saying they stand by their contract offer.

The company’s statement partially reads:

We are disappointed union leaders have chosen to distract from patient care by taking this action, especially at a time when we should be focusing our attention on caring for our community. 

The union has proved its disregard for our patients and communities by engaging in a strike while refusing to make a good faith effort to reach a deal. It’s a clear statement that the union is more interested in flexing its political power than reaching a fair agreement on behalf of its members. 

We stand by our offer, and SEIU should too: they negotiated this contract, were confident enough to place it on a ballot, and it was recently approved by more than 3,000 employees at seven other SEIU-represented hospitals across our system.

Sutter Health statement, Oct. 4, 2021

Workers say they notified the company in advance regarding the demonstration, so Sutter Health was able to call in replacement workers to cover appointments set during the strike.

Sutter Health said it also adjusted some schedules in preparation. “We’re able to help ensure the majority of Sutter Delta Medical Center’s operations will continue as normal, including emergency services,” Sutter Health told KRON4.

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