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Calif. Facility Nurses Strike

January 28, 1998

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Registered nurses started a two-day strike Wednesday against 54 Kaiser Permanente medical facilities after contract talks broke down.

It was their fourth walkout since their contract expired last January.

Supervisors of Alameda and Contra Costa counties declared states of emergency because clinics and hospitals were filled to capacity, and San Francisco health officials ordered city hospitals to take critical care patients even if they’re full.

More than six hours of talks were held during the night in efforts to avert the strike by about 7,500 members of the California Nurses Association, who work at hospitals and clinics throughout Northern California.

The main point of contention is staffing; union officials claim Kaiser’s cost-cutting tactics have hurt the quality of patient care.

Kaiser has offered a 2 percent a year raise for six years in the San Francisco Bay area and 2 percent a year to all Northern California nurses based on performance.

The Kaiser health maintenance organization serves one of every three Northern Californians with health insurance.

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