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Nurse Strikes in 2020-2023 (Full List With Reasons & Outcomes)

Nurses are a crucial part of the healthcare industry. The number of nurse strikes in the United States has increased in recent years. Strikes, protests and walkouts continue to be a way for nurses to demand better working conditions. The frequency of nurse strikes highlights the urgent need for healthcare systems to address concerns related to the following:

  • Staffing levels
  • Compensation
  • Working conditions

In this article:


Disclaimer: The following list of nurse strikes and related information is based on media coverage such as news and blog articles. For each strike, multiple references were considered. References that were considered for each strike are listed. There is no way for us to independently verify any of the following information. Some of the following information presented might be biased and not factual. If you notice any errors please reach out to us so we can correct them.

How each paragraph should be interpreted:

Who: Who and which hospital was part of the strike, according to the references listed for each strike.

Why: Allegations given for the strike by the striking party, according to the references listed for each strike. Under no circumstances should these allegations be considered to be factual information. None of the claims made by the striking parties can be verified by us. Any statements in this section should be considered as allegations, even if not explicitly stated.

Outcome: The outcome of the strike, according to the references listed for each strike. This might include the duration of the strike and any agreements reached between the parties, depending on if we were able to find this information online.


Nurse Strikes in 2023 (Updated)

The following list contains notable nurse strikes that took place in the year of 2023.

January 4, 2023: Seven Hospitals in New York City

Who: 12,000 nurses at seven hospitals in New York City, including:

  • Health System of BronxCare
  • Hospital Medical Center of Flushing
  • Medical Center of Maimonides
  • Mount Sinai Bronx
  • Mt. Sinai Medical Center
  • Mount Sinai West and Morningside
  • University Medical Center of Richmond

Why: Alleged inadequate staff members, frequent staff turnover, and fatigue.

Outcome: After a three-day strike, parties agreed on a three-year contract. During the three-year contract period, all of the facilities will introduce enhanced staffing standards and enforcement, healthcare benefits, and salary increases of 7%, 6%, and 5%.

References:

  1. Nurses at 7 New York hospitals plan open-ended strike. (2023, January 4). Healthcare Dive. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/new-york-state-nurses-seven-hospitals-strike-2023/639560/
  2. NYC nurses strike and win for fair contracts. (2023, January 24). New York State Nurses Association. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nysna.org/blog/2023/01/24/nyc-nurses-strike-and-win-fair-contracts
  3. Historic New York City contract groundbreaking safe staffing – Issuu. (2023, March 30). issuu. Retrieved June 2023, from https://issuu.com/nystatenursesassociation/docs/nyn_febmarch_online/s/21805793

January 9-11, 2023: Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York

Who: 7,000 nurses at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York.

Why: Alleged numerous staffing shortages, fatigued nurses from the pandemic’s overwork, an alleged inadequate training process for new nurses, and nurses allegedly managing dangerously high caseloads.

Outcome: After coming to tentative deals with management on better staffing and pay, the strike was ended. The tentative agreements at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan involve raises totaling 19% over three years.

References:

  1. “How the NYC nurses strike points to a nationwide problem with staffing.” PBS NewsHour, 14 May 2021, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/how-the-nyc-nurses-strike-points-to-a-nationwide-problem-with-staffing
  2. Bogage, J., & Mark, J. (2023, January 12). New York nurses end strike after reaching tentative deals with hospitals. The Washington Post. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/01/12/new-york-nurses-strike-deals-hospitals-tentative/
  3. Moshtaghian, C. B. (2023, January 12). New York nurses strike ends after tentative deal reached with hospitals | CNN business. CNN. Retrieved May 2023, from https://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/12/business/nyc-nurses-strike-ends/index.html
  4. Nurses’ strike ends in New York City after hospitals agree to add nurses. (2023, January 12). The New York Times – Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/12/nyregion/nurses-strike-ends-nyc.html
  5. Nytimes.com. (2023, January 18). The New York Times – Breaking News, US News, World News, and Videos. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/18/opinion/nurses-strike-pay-staffing-ratios.html

January 2023: MyMichigan Alma and McLaren Central in Michigan

Who: 150 nurses work at MyMichigan Alma and 100 at McLaren Central in Michigan.

Why: Since November 2022, nurses at MyMichigan Alma and McLaren Central have been working under expired contracts. Nurses claim that hospitals engaged in unfair labor practices, such as bad faith negotiating.

Outcome: (Strike averted) Before a settlement was reached, the vast majority of RNs at each hospital permitted their separate bargaining teams to call a strike if necessary. In both cases, agreements were reached that prevented the necessity for a work stoppage. A new three-year contract was approved by the nurses at McLaren Central Hospital in Mount Pleasant. Nurses at MyMichigan Alma also decided to endorse their tentative deal. The ratification resulted in the immediate implementation of both new contracts.

References:

  1. Chew, B. (2023, January 23). Nurses at two central Michigan hospitals to hold strike authorization votes. WPBN. Retrieved June 2023, from https://upnorthlive.com/news/local/nurses-at-two-central-michigan-hospitals-to-hold-strike-authorization-votes
  2. MNA nurses ratify agreements for new contracts with McLaren central, MyMichigan Alma. (2023, February 23). Michigan Nurses Association. Retrieved June 2023, from https://minurses.org/news/mna-nurses-ratify-agreements-with-mclaren-central-mymichigan-alma/
  3. Nurses at 2 local hospitals closer to strike after failed negotiations. (2023, January 23). 9&10 News. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.9and10news.com/2023/01/23/nurses-at-2-local-hospitals-closer-to-strike-after-failed-negotiations/

February 27, 2023: South Shore University Hospital Northwell Health (SSUH) in Bay Shore, New York

Who: 800 employees at South Shore University Hospital Northwell Health (SSUH) in Bay Shore, New York.

Why: For better salaries and safer staffing ratios.

Outcome: (Strike averted) A tentative deal has been struck, preventing a strike. The tentative agreement includes a wage increase, better compensation to retain nurses, enforcement of safe staffing standards, and improvements to retiree health benefits.

References:

  1. Gooch, K. (2023, February 24). Nurses at Northwell hospital withdraw strike notice. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/nurses-at-northwell-hospital-withdraw-strike-notice.html
  2. Milkowski, E. (2023, February 22). 800 nurses poised to strike south shore University hospital in Long Island, New York. World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/02/22/molx-f22.html
  3. Newsday. (2023, February 23). South shore University hospital nurses reach tentative agreement. Northwell Health. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.northwell.edu/news/in-the-news/south-shore-university-hospital-nurses-reach-tentative-agreement

March 20, 2023: Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, California

Who: 700 employees at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Why: Alleged unfair contract, threatened with retaliation of workers’ rights to engage in concerted union activity, alleged interference with union bargaining committee member’s ability to participate in contract negotiations; alleged failure to timely provision relevant and essential information that the union requested for negotiations, and alleged refusal to address low wages in negotiations.

Outcome: This one-day strike is the first strike in the union’s 19-year history. Employees claimed the strike was launched to pressure the hospital’s management to stop using illegal bargaining strategies and start sincere talks to address the high employee turnover. A new collective bargaining agreement is being discussed by employees and Henry Mayo.

References:

  1. Gooch, K. (2023, March 21). Workers at California hospital hold strike. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/workers-at-california-hospital-hold-strike.html
  2. Henry Mayo union workers begin one-day strike. (2023, March 20). SCVNews.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://scvnews.com/henry-mayo-union-workers-begin-one-day-strike/
  3. Local 1004 holds one-day unfair labor practice strike. (2023, March 21). UE. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.ueunion.org/ue-news/2023/ue-local-1004-strikes-over-unfair-labor-practices

March 28, 2023: MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae, California

Who: Nearly 600 nurses at MarinHealth Medical Center.

Why: Alleged hospital administration’s refusal to address nurses; concerns regarding patient care, safe staffing, nurse retention, and recruitment.

Outcome: (Strike averted) A one-day strike that was scheduled to start on March 28, 2023, was avoided when registered nurses at MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae, California, tentatively agreed to a three-year contract on March 21, 2023. The contract includes:

  • Health and safety provisions
  • PPE provision
  • A new Infectious Disease Subcommittee
  • Safe staffing provisions
  • Health benefits
  • Nurse Retention and recruitment
  • A 16.5 percent wage increase over three years

References:

  1. MarinHealth nurses give notice they plan to hold a one-day strike for patient safety. (2023, March 17). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/marinhealth-nurses-give-notice-they-plan-to-hold-one-day-strike-for-patient-safety
  2. MarinHealth nurses strike averted as RNs reach tentative agreement. (2023, March 23). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/marinhealth-rns-reach-tentative-agreement
  3. Nurses at MarinHealth Medical Center reach deal, avert strike. (2023, March 23). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/marinhealth-medical-center-greenbrae-nurses-reach-deal-avert-strike/

May 2-4, 2023: St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, California, and John Muir Behavioral Health Center in Concord, California

Who: 200 registered nurses at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, California, and 78 registered nurses at John Muir Behavioral Health Center in Concord, California.

Why: Alleged hazardous staffing levels, poor working conditions, and inadequate pay. Both institutions’ management has allegedly declined to respond to nurses’ requests for fair contracts.

Outcome: (Strike averted) At the last minute, a two-day nurses’ strike at Saint Rose Hospital in Hayward was called off due to progress in contract negotiations. The contract negotiated by the John Muir nurses and the union after 30 bargaining sessions may be put to a vote if the union leaders agree or permit a vote.

References:

  1. Bay Area nurses to begin strikes on May 2. (2023, April 26). National Nurses United. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/bay-area-nurses-begin-strikes-on-may-2
  2. Concord nurses to hold one-day strike for fair contract. (2023, May 2). National Nurses United. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/concord-nurses-to-hold-one-day-strike-for-fair-contracts
  3. St. Rose hospital nurses ratify new contract. (2023, May 9). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/st-rose-hospital-hayward-nurses-new-contract-agreement/
  4. Bay City News. (2023, April 28). Nurses union to strike at 2 east Bay health care facilities beginning Tuesday. KTVU FOX 2. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.ktvu.com/news/nurses-union-to-strike-at-2-east-bay-health-care-facilities-beginning-tuesday
  5. Bigler, M., & Frederick, E. (2023, May 4). Nurses strike at John Muir health due to unsafe working conditions. Audacy.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.audacy.com/kcbsradio/news/local/east-bay-nurses-strike-due-to-unsafe-working-conditions
  6. Nurses strike at John Muir behavioral health center demanding fair contract. (2023, May 3). KRON4. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/nurses-strike-at-john-muir-behavioral-health-center-demanding-fair-contract/
  7. Redell, B. (2023, May 3). Dozens of nurses in Concord walk out for 1-Day strike. NBC Bay Area. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/east-bay/nurses-strike-in-concord/3220459/

May 11, 2023: PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital (PIH GSH) in Los Angeles, California

Who: Registered nurses at PIH Health-Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

Why: Concerns about patient safety brought on by management actions, including alleged understaffing and lacking RNs to supervise safe meal and rest breaks, and poor patient outcomes.

Outcome: (Strike averted) A one-day strike that was scheduled to start on May 11 was averted after registered nurses landed a tentative deal on May 6, 2023, that will last through November 2025.

References:

  1. Gooch, K. (2023, May 8). Strike set at Los Angeles hospital. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/strike-set-at-los-angeles-hospital.html
  2. Los Angeles nurses to hold speak out for patient safety. (2022, April 12). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/los-angeles-nurses-to-hold-speak-out
  3. PIH health good samaritan hospital nurses strike averted as RNs reach tentative agreement. (2023, May 8). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/pih-health-good-samaritan-hospital-nurses-strike-averted

May 22, 2023: HCA Healthcare

Who: 3,000 healthcare workers at HCA Healthcare.

Why: Alleged staff shortage, nurse retention issues, and poor working conditions.

Outcome: (Strike averted) Five HCA hospitals in California would have been impacted by the strike, however, negotiations between the parties resulted in its cancellation. The tentative agreement of the new contract includes significant investments in the workforce and salary increases that will help retain experienced healthcare workers. It also includes a raise of 15% over three years, and the agreement protects healthcare and education benefits for workers.

References:

  1. Southwick, R. (2023, May 19). Days before strike at California hospitals, HCA healthcare and union reach deal. Chief Healthcare Executive. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.chiefhealthcareexecutive.com/view/days-before-strike-at-california-hospitals-hca-healthcare-and-union-reach-deal
  2. Muoio, D. (2023, May 18). HCA Healthcare, union contract agreement averts 3,000-worker hospital strike. Fierce Healthcare. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/union-workers-5-california-hca-hospitals-vote-strike

June 12, 2023: St. Charles Health System’s Bend in Central Oregon

Who: Nearly 1,000 nurses represented by the Oregon Nurses Association at St. Charles Health System’s Bend in Central Oregon.

Why: Alleged inadequate staffing to meet patient demand, better pay, and nurse retention issues.

Outcome: (Strike averted) Early on Thursday, the Oregon Nurses Association and St. Charles Bend worked out a tentative contract after over 40 hours of negotiations. The contract guarantees meal breaks, increased compensation, and security of their employment in the event of a change in hospital ownership. Almost 1,000 nurses who are represented by the nurses’ union must still vote on the tentative agreement.

References:

  1. Roig, S. (2023, June 8). St. Charles bend settles with nurses, averts a strike in marathon negotiations. Rogue Valley Times. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.rv-times.com/st-charles-bend-settles-with-nurses-averts-a-strike-in-marathon-negotiations/article_0f40d939-8758-550d-9ddf-ba714275fd62.html
  2. Land, J. (2023, June 2). St. Charles nurses in bend begin countdown on strike. opb. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.opb.org/article/2023/06/02/st-charles-health-bend-oregon-nurses-strike/

June 12, 2023: NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

Who: About 1,250 nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.

Why: Staffing cuts allegedly resulting in unsafe patient care.

Outcome: (Strike averted) On June 12, nurses were scheduled to go on an indefinite strike. Due to the deal, they were able to avoid a strike. A new contract has been approved by members of the New York State Nurses Association. As part of the agreement, nurses will get full retroactive pay as well as three years’ worth of pay increases totaling 18%.

References:

  1. Gooch, K. (2023, June 14). Newyork-presbyterian hospital nurses approve deal with wage boost. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/newyork-presbyterian-hospital-nurses-approve-deal-with-wage-boost.html
  2. “This Was Truly A Team Effort” – NYSNA-Represented NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Nurses ‘Overwhelmingly Ratify’ New Contract, Averting Strike – Agreement ‘Defeats Proposals To Cut Care, Improves Staffing & Wage Increases’. (2023, June 9). WNY Labor Today. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wnylabortoday.com/news/2023/06/09/new-york-state-labor-news/this-was-truly-a-team-effort-nysna-represented-newyork-presbyterian-brooklyn-methodist-nurses-overwhelmingly-ratify-new-contract-averting-strike-agreement-defeats-proposals-to-cut-care-improves-staffing-wage-increases/
  3. Newyork-presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist nurses deliver strike notice. (2023, May 30). New York State Nurses Association. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nysna.org/press/2023/newyork-presbyterian-brooklyn-methodist-nurses-deliver-strike-notice

June 19-23, 2023: Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence Seaside Hospital, and Providence Home Health and Hospice

Who: Roughly 1,800 nurses at Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence Seaside Hospital, and Providence Home Health and Hospice.

Why: Alleged unfair labor practices, failing practice standards, overuse of temporary nurses, unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios, poor quality of care, nurse retention issues, less time off benefits, and inability to offer “market competitive” wages and fair contracts.

Outcome: The city’s first nurses’ strike in 22 years began with 1,800 nurses walking off the job. Providence in Oregon went public about hiring over 475 nurses as replacement staff during the five-day strike.

The Oregon Nurses Association accused Providence of breaking state employment laws by recruiting roughly 500 temporary replacement nurses during the strike, allegedly violating a rule forbidding employers from engaging professional strikebreakers.

Staff nurses returned to work once the temporary staff contracts expired. Contract negotiations between Providence and the nurses’ union resumed last June 27.

As per the Oregon Nurses Association, Providence has rejected their proposals and has not offered plans for the nurses.

References:

  1. Macuk, A. (2023, June 9). 1,800 nurses warn of strike starting June 19 at providence Portland, two other facilities. kgw.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/nurses-union-strike-notice-providence-portland-two-other-facilities/283-5b55aaac-ce2c-4069-bb03-d065797a13dd
  2. Gooch, K. (2023, June 9). Providence nurses, clinicians issue strike notice. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/providence-nurses-clinicians-issue-strike-notice.html
  3. Providence nurses in Portland, seaside plan 5-day strike this month. (2023, June 10). oregonlive. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2023/06/providence-nurses-in-portland-seaside-warn-theyll-strike-in-10-days.html
  4. Gooch, K. (2023, June 26). Providence strike ends, union alleges illegal use of ‘professional strikebreakers’. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/providence-strike-ends-union-alleges-illegal-use-of-professional-strikebreakers.html
  5. Oregon Nurses Association. (2023, June). Oregonrn.org. oregonrn.org. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.oregonrn.org/page/provstrike
  6. Providence Portland nurses walk out in city’s first nursing strike in 22 years. (2023, June 19). oregonlive. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2023/06/providence-portland-nurses-walk-out-in-citys-first-nursing-strike-in-22-years.htm
  7. Templeton, A. (2023, June 23). The providence nurse strike has ended, but the fight over health care working conditions roars on. opb. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.opb.org/article/2023/06/23/providence-nurses-strike-health-care-workers-rights-contract-union-portland/

June 27, 2023: Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (ASMCA)

Who: 900 registered nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (ASMCA).

Why: Alleged unsafe staffing levels, chronic short-staffing, ineffective nurse retention, alleged mismanagement of resources by hospital administrators, and unsettled contracts.

Outcome: A strike was authorized by 98 percent of voting union members on May 31 and June 1, 2023. Nurses approved unionization in September 2022. While contract negotiations started in November 2022.

The strike lasted for one day. Ascension announced that it would not let the striking nurses return until the end of the month. According to the hospital, the staffing company hired to supply temporary workers during the strike, which is requesting a minimum four-day contract.

Following the largest nursing strike in Texas history, nurses returned to their patients’ bedsides on July 1, 2023 and negotiations were resumed,

References:

  1. Gooch, K. (2023, June 2). Ascension workers authorize strike in Texas. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/ascension-workers-authorize-strike-in-texas.html
  2. Ascension Seton nurses overwhelmingly vote to authorize strike. (2023, June 6). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/ascension-seton-nurses-overwhelmingly-vote-to-authorize-strike
  3. Ascension Seton nurses overwhelmingly vote to strike following months of no deal on union contract. (2023, June 1). kvue.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.kvue.com/article/news/investigations/defenders/ascension-nurses-strike/269-5e348e4c-43ce-4e39-992f-e9fe47796519
  4. Aldridge, O., & KUT News. (2023, June 27). Nurses walk out of Austin’s Ascension Seton in historic strike. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.texastribune.org/2023/06/27/texas-nurses-strike/
  5. National Nurses Organizing Committee, & National Nurses United. (2023, June 30). Austin nurses to return to work after historic one-day strike and three-day lockout by Ascension. National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/austin-nurses-return-work-after-historic-one-day-strike-and-three-day-lockout
  6. National Nurses Organizing Committee, & National Nurses United. (2023, June 28). RNs who staged historic TX and KS strikes now locked out by Ascension. National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/rns-who-staged-historic-tx-and-ks-strikes-now-locked-out-by-ascension
  7. Reader, G., & Stark, S. (2023, July 1). Ascension Seton Medical Center nurses return to work Saturday morning after strike. KXAN Austin. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.kxan.com/news/local/ascension-seton-medical-center-nurses-to-return-saturday-morning-after-strike/
  8. Anderson, B. (2023, September 28). Ascension Seton Austin nurses rally for safer staffing policies. Community Impact. Retrieved October 2023, from https://communityimpact.com/austin/central-austin/health-care/2023/09/27/ascension-seton-austin-nurses-rally-for-safer-staffing-policies/

July 12-18, 2023: Oahu Care Facility in Honolulu, Hawaii

Who: Nurses and nurses aides (members of Hawaii Nurses’ Association, representing 4,000 healthcare workers) at Oahu Care Facility.

Why: For higher wages, fair contracts and against alleged unfair labor practices.

Outcome: After the seven-day nurse strike, both parties agreed to continue the negotiations. However, in August, the Hawaii Nurses Association said they would file a charge of unfair labor practices against the Oahu Care Facility. This is due to the alleged removal of the medical insurance plan by Oahu Care Facility after notifying them about the results of ratifying the agreements.

References:

  1. Arakaki, C. (2023, July 19). Future remains unclear after nurses strike at care facility ends. https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2023/07/19/future-remains-unclear-after-nurses-strike-care-facility-ends/
  2. Gutierrez, B. (2023, July 20). Bargaining begins after nurses end seven-day walkout at 82-bed care facility. https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2023/07/20/bargaining-begins-after-nurses-end-seven-day-walkout-oahu-care-facility/
  3. Kalahele, K. (2023, July 13). Care facility nurses go on 7-day strike amid ‘shameful’ wage dispute. https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2023/07/12/care-facility-nurses-announce-7-day-strike-amid-shameful-wage-dispute/
  4. Marklay, C. (2023, August 2). Oahu Care Facility nurses and nurse aids on the picket line. KITV 4 Island News | Honolulu, HI News & Weather. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.kitv.com/news/local/oahu-care-facility-nurses-and-nurse-aids-on-the-picket-line/article_f9ab4f08-25a7-11ee-aff2-935aa435c4d3.html
  5. Ordonio, C. (2023, July 24). Oʻahu care facility nurses and aides return to bargaining table after 7-day strike. Hawai’i Public Radio. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/local-news/2023-07-24/oahu-care-facility-nurses-and-aides-return-to-bargaining-table-after-7-day-strike
  6. Wu, N. (2023, August 31). Nurses union to file unfair labor complaint against Oahu care home. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.staradvertiser.com/2023/08/29/hawaii-news/nurses-union-to-file-unfair-labor-complaint-against-oahu-care-home/

July 19, 2023: SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri

Who: Registered nurses at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital (SLUH).

Why: “Informational picket” to call the management’s attention to the chronic staffing crisis and its alleged impact on patient safety, high turnover rates, failure to recruit and retain nurses, and increasing workplace violence.

Outcome: The nurses offered several proposals and made compromises, but SSM allegedly resisted addressing the RNs’ issues about recruiting and retaining staff and preventing workplace violence. Later on, the nurses authorized another strike.

References:

  1. Alpert, L. (2023, July 31). Saint Louis University hospital nurses hold informational picket to protest staffing crisis. The Labor Tribune. Retrieved October 2023, from https://labortribune.com/saint-louis-university-hospital-nurses-hold-informational-picket-to-protest-staffing-crisis/
  2. Saint Louis University hospital nurses set to hold one-day strike for patient safety and nurse retention. (2023, September 22). National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/sluh-nurses-set-to-hold-one-day-strike-for-patient-safety-and-nurse-retention
  3. Saint Louis University hospital nurses to hold informational picket to protest staffing crisis. (2023, July 17). National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/saint-louis-university-hospital-nurses-to-hold-informational-picket-to-protest-staffing-crisis
  4. Saint Louis University hospital nurses overwhelmingly vote to authorize strike. (2023, September 13). National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/saint-louis-university-hospital-nurses-overwhelmingly-vote-to-authorize-strike

July 31- August 10, 2023: Loretto Hospital in Austin, Chicago

Who: Around 200 SEIU Healthcare workers at Loretto Hospital.

Why: Alleged below-standard wages, state of the equipment and facility undermining working conditions and patient care, and unsettled contracts.

Outcome: The 11-day strike at Loretto Hospital ended after the management and its staff reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract. It involves raising the minimum wage rates for all job titles, increasing wages for all Loretto employees uniformly, and raising salaries to reflect years of service.

References:

  1. Gooch, K. (2023, August 11). Chicago hospital workers reach agreement after 11-day strike. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/chicago-hospital-workers-reach-agreement-after-11-day-strike.html
  2. Holmes, E., & Minor, J. (2023, August 1). Loretto hospital healthcare workers go on strike after failed negotiations. ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved October 2023, from https://abc7chicago.com/loretto-hospital-chicago-strike-seiu-heathcare-news-near-me/13576487/
  3. Liederman, M. (2023, August 11). Loretto hospital strike ends as workers claim ‘Victory’ with tentative contract. Block Club Chicago. Retrieved October 2023, from https://blockclubchicago.org/2023/08/11/loretto-hospital-strike-ends-as-workers-claim-victory-with-tentative-contract/
  4. Mateus, B. (2023, August 4). Striking healthcare workers at Loretto hospital in Chicago speak on conditions. World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/08/05/lpwa-a05.html

August 3-4, 2023: Rochester General Hospital in New York

Who: Nearly 900 nurses (members of the Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals).

Why: Alleged unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios, high workload affecting patient care and for fair wages.

Outcome: There has been no agreement reached as of writing. Negotiations are still ongoing between the hospital and the union that represents the nurses.

References:

  1. Freile, V. E. (2023, August 3). Nurses at Rochester General Hospital on strike after negotiations fail. What to know. Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2023/08/03/nurses-strike-rochester-ny-general-hospital-what-to-know/70496404007/
  2. Gooch, K. (2023, August 3). New York hospital workers begin strike. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/new-york-hospital-workers-begin-strike.html
  3. Spectrum News Staff. (2023, August 5). Rochester General Hospital nurse strike ends after 2 days. Spectrum News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/rochester/health/2023/08/05/rochester-general-hospital-nurse-strike-ends-after-2-days
  4. Wentworth, H. (2023, August 7). RGH nurses return to work after strike— what’s next? RochesterFirst. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/rgh-nurses-return-to-work-after-strike-whats-next/
  5. Wright, W. (2023, August 3). Replacement nurses from around the US take the place of striking RGH nurses. Spectrum News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/rochester/news/2023/08/03/replacement-nurses-from-around-the-country-take-the-place-of-striking-rgh-staff-nurses

August 4, 2023, up to present: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Who: More than 1,700 nurses (members of United Steel Workers Local 4-200) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Why: For better staffing, pay, and benefits and following failed contract negotiations.

Outcome: The hospital management temporarily cut off the healthcare benefits of the staff effective September 1, 2023. The management claimed they are no longer eligible for the said benefits since they do not work in the hospital.

The striking nurses have organized evening vigils outside the houses of hospital officials to call out their demands.

As of writing, the strike is ongoing and far from settling an agreement.

References:

  1. Eyewitness News. (2023, August 4). Nurses on strike at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey. ABC7 New York. Retrieved October 2023, from https://abc7ny.com/robert-wood-johnson-strike-nurses-new-jersey-nurse/13596972/
  2. Gooch, K. (2023, September 11). New Jersey nurses gather outside CEO’s home. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/new-jersey-nurses-gather-outside-ceos-home.html
  3. Kent, S. (2023, September 29). 57 days and counting. How a NJ hospital strike got so bitter. nj.com. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nj.com/healthfit/2023/09/57-days-and-counting-how-a-nj-hospital-strike-got-so-bitter.html
  4. NJSNA Nurses. (2023, August 4). More than 1,700 nurses on strike at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. New Jersey State Nurses Association. Retrieved October 2023, from https://njsna.org/more-than-1700-nurses-on-strike-at-robert-wood-johnson-university-hospital/
  5. Russell, S. (2023, September 15). ‘Flip of a coin’: Where do striking Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital nurses stand? My Central Jersey. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/health/2023/09/15/nurses-strike-robert-wood-johnson-university-hospital-new-brunswick/70862989007/

August 4, 2023: Trinity Health Grand Haven Hospital in Michigan

Who: About 200 members of Service Employees International Union Healthcare Michigan.

Why: For competitive wages, safe staffing, quality patient care, alleged bad faith bargaining, and unfair labor practice.

Outcome: Trinity Health no longer acknowledges SEIU Healthcare Michigan as the union that represents roughly 200 workers at its hospital in Grand Haven.

In its decision to stop recognizing the union, Trinity Health Grand Haven referenced a petition signed by most workers who made up the bargaining unit and expressed their disapproval of the union. Before the ballots from a decertification referendum two weeks ago, in which workers chose to remain in the union, were counted, the petition was delivered to the health system.

Trinity Health Grand Haven on Sunday increased wages for all staff members, including those formerly represented by the SEIU, after terminating the union’s recognition. Trinity Health refuses to provide details on the extent of the pay raises.

References:

  1. Dawson, G. (2023, August 3). Trinity health abandons negotiation session ahead of strike, SEIU healthcare Michigan says. WWMT. Retrieved October 2023, from https://wwmt.com/news/local/trinity-health-seiu-healthcare-michigan-grand-haven-hospital-workers-strike-negotiations-allegations-union-bargaining-threats
  2. Dozens of trinity health employees strike for improved contract: ‘I don’t see appreciation’. (2023, August 4). WZZM13.com. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.wzzm13.com/article/news/local/grand-haven/trinity-health-grand-haven-employees-strike/69-5e33c8bb-fd9d-4150-9379-2c54df94ab00
  3. Gooch, K. (2023, August 4). Trinity health hospital workers go on strike. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/trinity-health-hospital-workers-go-on-strike.html
  4. News Channel 3. (2023, July 25). Trinity Grand Haven Hospital workers to hold unfair labor practice strike. WWMT. Retrieved October 2023, from https://wwmt.com/news/local/trinity-grand-haven-hospital-workers-unfair-labor-practice-strike-grand-haven-annual-coast-guard-festival
  5. Sanchez, M. (2023, October 2). Trinity Health withdraws recognition of union at Grand Haven Hospital. Crain’s Grand Rapids Business. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.crainsgrandrapids.com/news/health-care/trinity-health-withdraws-recognition-of-union-at-grand-haven-hospital/

August 18-28, 2023: Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California

Who: Members of SEIU 121RN, representing hundreds of registered nurses at the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park.

Why: Short staffing, inadequate violent protection and workplace policies, faulty equipment, and ignored nurses’ contract proposals.

Outcome: As per SEIU 121RN Union, a tentative agreement was reached for a new union contract for the nurses in Garfield Medical Center.

References:

  1. Garfield Medical Center nurses wage 10-day strike over unsafe staffing, faulty equipment. (2023, August 28). Seiu121rn.org. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.seiu121rn.org/2023/08/28/garfield-medical-center-nurses-wage-10-day-strike-over-unsafe-staffing-faulty-equipment/
  2. Gooch, K. (2023, August 21). Nurses at LA-area hospital launch 10-day strike. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/nurses-at-la-area-hospital-launch-10-day-strike.html
  3. New Desk. (2023, August 23). Nurses Strike at Garfield Medical Center. coloradoboulevard.net. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.coloradoboulevard.net/nurses-strike-at-garfield-medical-center/
  4. Nurses go on strike at L.A.-area hospital, complaining of short staffing. (2023, August 18). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-08-18/nurse-strike-garfield-medical-center-monterey-park
  5. SEIU Local 121RN [seiu121rn]. (2023, September 21). Garfield Medical Center Nurses: Union Contract: Tentative Agreement Reached [Instagram post]. Instagram. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.instagram.com/p/CxbJvJkvjMz/

August 22-23, 2023: Ascension Saint Joseph-Joliet in Illinois

Who: More than 500 nurses (members of the Illinois Nurses Association) at Ascension Saint Joseph-Joliet.

Why: Alleged understaffing and low wages.

Outcome: Ascension Saint Joseph-Joliet entered into a contract with a staffing company for temporary staffing. Registered nurses employed at Ascension Saint Joseph-Joliet were temporarily replaced beginning August 22 and resumed their regular shifts August 26.

The negotiations were set to resume September 8. As of writing, there are no updates on the negotiation results between the two parties.

References:

  1. Chappell, K. (2023, August 22). Nurses on strike over pay, staffing levels at Joliet’s only hospital. NBC Chicago. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/nurses-on-strike-over-pay-staffing-levels-at-joliets-only-hospital/3212754/
  2. Gooch, K. (2023, August 22). Ascension nurses in Illinois go on strike. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/ascension-nurses-in-illinois-go-on-strike.html
  3. Smith, A. (2023, August 26). Nurses return to Ascension St. Joseph Medical Center after lockout. WGN-TV. Retrieved October 2023, from https://wgntv.com/news/joliet/nurses-return-to-ascension-st-joseph-medical-center-after-lockout/

August 29, 2023: St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, California

Who: Registered Nurses (members of United Nurses Associations of California (UNAC) and Union of Health Care Professionals (UHCP)) of St. Francis Medical Center.

Why: “Informational picket” to protest the alleged unsafe staffing levels, large nurse turnover, low wages, and alleged unfair labor practices during contract negotiations.

Outcome: During contract discussions with both unions, the management allegedly engaged in unfair labor practices, which prompted complaints from the unions to the National Labor Relations Board.

The nurses (represented by UNAC/UHCP) and the ancillary and technical staff (represented by SEIU-UHW) engaged in separate discussions with the management for new contract negotiation.

Due to unsettled negotiations, another strike is scheduled for October 9-13, 2023.

References:

  1. Advisory—Fight for safe care: Hundreds of nurses and Allies will picket St. Francis Medical Center on August 29. (2023, August 24). UNAC/UHCP. Retrieved October 2023, from https://unacuhcp.org/press_release/advisory-fight-for-safe-care-hundreds-of-nurses-and-allies-will-picket-st-francis-medical-center-on-august-29/
  2. Kiszla, C. (2023, August 30). Nurses protest ‘short staffing’ at Lynwood hospital in latest iteration of ‘hot labor summer’. KTLA. Retrieved October 2023, from https://ktla.com/news/local-news/nurses-protest-short-staffing-at-lynwood-hospital-in-latest-iteration-of-hot-labor-summer/
  3. United Nurses Associations of California / Union of Health Care Professionals. (2023, September 28). STRIKE – RNs and almost all health care staff to strike St. Francis Medical Center 10/9 – 10/13. PR Newswire: press release distribution, targeting, monitoring and marketing. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/strike–rns-and-almost-all-health-care-staff-to-strike-st-francis-medical-center-109–1013-301942028.html

September 6, 2023: Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital

Who: Over 250 nurses (members of the California Nurses Association) at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Why: The administration’s alleged refusal to address concerns on nurse recruitment, staffing, and retention, better workplace conditions, and fair contracts.

Outcome: After the 1-day strike, both parties are hopeful to reach an agreement. As of writing, there are no updates about the negotiations.

References:

  1. Armstrong, Z. (2023, September 8). Marina del Rey nurses hold strike and rally over workplace conditions. Yo! Venice!. Retrieved October 2023, from https://yovenice.com/2023/09/08/marina-del-rey-nurses-hold-strike-and-rally-over-workplace-conditions/
  2. California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU). (2023, September 5). Cedars-Sinai marina del Rey hospital nurses to hold one-day strike and rally for a fair contract tomorrow. National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/cedars-sinai-marina-del-rey-nurses-to-strike
  3. California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU). (2023, August 29). Cedars-Sinai marina del Rey nurses issue 10-day notice for one-day strike. National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/cedars-sinai-marina-del-rey-nurses-issue-10-day-notice-of-one-day-strike
  4. Gooch, K. (2023, September 7). Cedars-Sinai hospital nurses hold strike. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/cedars-sinai-hospital-nurses-hold-strike.html

September 11-13, 2023: Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital in Michigan

Who: About 270 nurses and radiology technologists (members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 40).

Why: Concerns about wages, staffing, and unsettled contracts.

Outcome: The hospital is obligated by contract to provide at least four days of work for any replacements of radiological technologists and registered nurses. Striking employees were temporarily replaced. On September 15, they resumed working their regular shifts.

Negotiations were scheduled for after the strike. As of writing, there are no updates about the negotiations.

References:

  1. Gooch, K. (2023, September 11). Workers strike at Ascension hospital in Michigan. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/workers-strike-at-ascension-hospital-in-michigan.html
  2. Murdoch, R., & Ainsworth, A. (2023, September 11). Nurses and radiology techs strike against Ascension providence Rochester, request investigation into hospital. FOX 2 Detroit. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/nurses-and-radiology-techs-strike-against-ascension-providence-rochester-request-investigation-into-hospital

September 25, 2023: SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis

Who: 500 registered nurses (members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee) at Saint Louis University Hospital.

Why: Administration’s alleged refusal to address “deep concerns” about patient care, unsafe staffing, workplace violence, and unsettled contracts.

Outcome: The nurse strike lasted 24 hours and ended the next day, September 26, 2023. The union claims that during negotiations, management refused to address the issues of patient care, safe staffing, and workplace violence raised by its members.

As of writing, both parties continue to negotiate until they reach an agreement.

References:

  1. Feeney, A. (2023, September 26). Nurse Strike: St. Louis University Hospital Nurses Walk Out Over Work Conditions. NurseJournal. Retrieved October 2023, from https://nursejournal.org/articles/nurse-strike-st-louis-hospital/
  2. Merrilees, A. (2023, September 26). SLU hospital nurses Mount a 24-hour strike over working conditions. STLtoday.com. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/business/slu-hospital-nurses-mount-a-24-hour-strike-over-working-conditions/article_094ba24a-5baf-11ee-8bdb-23885685cf25.html
  3. Saint Louis University hospital nurses overwhelmingly vote to authorize strike. (2023, September 13). National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/saint-louis-university-hospital-nurses-overwhelmingly-vote-to-authorize-strike
  4. Saint Louis University hospital nurses set to hold one-day strike for patient safety and nurse retention. (2023, September 22). National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/sluh-nurses-set-to-hold-one-day-strike-for-patient-safety-and-nurse-retention
  5. Saint Louis University nurses give notice for historic one-day strike for patient safety. (2023, September 15). National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/saint-louis-university-nurses-give-notice-of-historic-one-day-strike-for-patient-safety

September 27, 2023: Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (ASMCA)

Who: 900 registered nurses and union’s representatives at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (ASMCA).

Why: Mounting concerns over the safety of newborn and open-heart surgery patients due to alleged understaffing.

Outcome: ASMCA claimed that the hospital has a “workforce development strategy” in place to attract and keep nurses. Both parties are set to schedule a bargaining session to reach an agreement and contract.

References:

  1. Anderson, B. (2023, September 28). Ascension Seton Austin nurses rally for safer staffing policies. Community Impact. Retrieved October 2023, from https://communityimpact.com/austin/central-austin/health-care/2023/09/27/ascension-seton-austin-nurses-rally-for-safer-staffing-policies/
  2. The Comanche Chief. (2023, September 25). Austin nurses to rally for safer health care for newborns and open-heart surgery patients. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.thecomanchechief.com/life_and_style/health/austin-nurses-to-rally-for-safer-health-care-for-newborns-and-open-heart-surgery-patients/article_c10265c2-5be1-11ee-a1aa-03d4e02f07fc.html
  3. Hollowell, A. (2023, September 28). Texas nurses to rally over newborn, open-heart surgery staffing concerns. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/nursing/texas-nurses-to-rally-over-newborn-open-heart-surgery-staffing-concerns.html
  4. National Nurses Organizing Committee, & National Nurses United. (2023, September 25). Austin nurses to rally for safer health care for newborns and open heart surgery patients. National Nurses United. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/austin-nurses-to-rally-for-safer-health-care-for-newborns-and-open-heart-surgery-patients

October 4-6, 2023: Kaiser Permanente hospitals and medical facilities across the US.

Who: Over 75,000 nurses and healthcare professionals at Kaiser Permanente in California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington DC.

Why: Alleged staffing shortage that got worse at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, low wages, alleged unfair labor practices, and alleged refusal to negotiate in good faith to solve the crisis in staffing.

Outcome: The strike is known to be the largest nurse strike in the history of US healthcare. As of writing, the strike is ongoing. There are no updates on the negotiations between the two parties.

References:

  1. Coalition Unions notify Kaiser of unfair labor practice & sympathy strikes set for October 4-6. (2023, September 23). Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.unioncoalition.org/
  2. Dazio, S., & Dovarganes, D. (2023, October 6). Thousands of US healthcare workers go on strike in multiple states over wages and staff shortages. AP News. Retrieved October 2023, from https://apnews.com/article/kaiser-health-care-workers-strike-b8b40ce8c082c0b8c4f1c0fb7ec38741
  3. Delouya, S., & CNN. (2023, October 5). The largest health care strike in US history enters its second day | CNN business. CNN. Retrieved October 2023, from https://edition.cnn.com/2023/10/05/business/union-workers-strike-kaiser-permanente/index.html
  4. Kaye, D. (2023, October 4). 75,000 Kaiser nurses, pharmacists, and other workers have walked off the job. NPR. Retrieved October 2023, from https://www.npr.org/2023/10/04/1203225614/kaiser-permanente-historic-strike-health-care-workers-nationwide

Nurse Strikes in 2022

The following list contains notable nurse strikes that took place in the year of 2022.

March 13-18, 2022: Armstrong County Memorial Hospital, Kittanning, Pennsylvania

Who: Over 200 nurses at Armstrong County Memorial Hospital in Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

Why: Alleged understaffing, insufficient recruitment, lack of pay, and nurses’ claim that hospital management is disregarding suggestions and issues from nurses and making them feel underappreciated and undervalued.

Outcome: This was the first strike at Armstrong County Memorial Hospital in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, in more than 20 years. No resolution between the two parties. The union called off the strike without acknowledging any of the nurses’ requests.

References:

  1. After months of negotiations, nurses at Armstrong County’s only hospital are going on strike. (2022, March 14). 90.5 WESA. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.wesa.fm/health-science-tech/2022-03-12/after-months-of-negotiations-nurses-at-armstrong-countys-only-hospital-are-going-on-strike
  2. Armstrong County memorial hospital nurses rally on day 2 of strike. (2022, March 14). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/pittsburgh/news/armstrong-county-memorial-hospital-nurses-day-2-strike/
  3. Striking Armstrong County hospital nurses say they’re returning to work Friday. (2022, March 17). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.post-gazette.com/business/healthcare-business/2022/03/17/strike-walkout-armstrong-county-memorial-hospital-kittanning-return-contract-pennsylvania-association-of-staff-nurses-allied-professionals/stories/202203170142
  4. Health care struggles grow in the US as omicron BA.2 surge spreads. (2022, March 23). World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/03/23/heal-m23.html

March 30-31, 2022: AHMC Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California

Who: 300 nurses at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California.

Why: Alleged understaffing of nurses, lack of support staff and PPEs (like gloves, syringes, and gowns).

Outcome: The nurses union claims that despite their efforts, management chose to disregard their complaints. Seton allegedly permanently shut down two hospital departments that care for frail elderly patients from all around Northern California. Another two-day strike took place later on.

References:

  1. AHMC Seton Medical Center nurses to hold a one-day strike to demand safe patient staffing. (2022, March 28). National Nurses United. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/seton-medical-center-nurses-to-hold-one-day-strike-for-safe-patient-staffing
  2. Staff, & Bay City News Foundation. (2022, March 29). Seton Medical Center nurses to walk out over working conditions, patient care. Local News Matters. Retrieved May 2023, from https://localnewsmatters.org/2022/03/29/seton-medical-center-nurses-to-walk-out-over-working-conditions-patient-care/

April 18, 2022: Sutter Health facilities in Northern California

Who: More than 8,000 registered nurses and healthcare professionals at 18 Sutter Health facilities in Northern California.

Why: Nurses have been working without a contract since the previous one expired in June 2021. Alleged severe staffing shortage due to inability to retain experienced nurses and insufficient staffing and training, and lack of health and safety protection (inadequate resources).

Outcome: Hospital administrators allegedly extended the nurses’ lockout without pay by an additional five days following the strike. No agreement was reached between the two parties. Later in 2022, the nurses launched another strike to protest their concerns.

References:

  1. Nurses strike at Sutter health facilities across northern California. (2022, April 18). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/nurses-going-on-1-day-strike-at-sutter-health-facilities-across-northern-california/
  2. Sutter nurses and health care workers strike! (2022, April 27). National Nurses United. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/sutter-strike-2022
  3. Two months after strike, 8,000 Sutter nurses in northern California nurses remain on the job without a contract. (2022, June 29). World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/06/29/sutt-j29.html

April 25-29, 2022: Stanford and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospitals in Palo Alto, California

Who: 5,000 nurses who work at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospitals in Palo Alto, California.

Why: Alleged understaffing, mandatory overtime, little time to spend with their families, inadequate mental health support and for pay increase.

Outcome: After a week-long strike, both sides have reached an agreement to a new contract and to resume work. The pay for nurses increased by 7% in 2022, 5% in April 2023, and another 5% in April 2024. Their health benefits were also increased.

References:

  1. Nurses reach agreement with Stanford, ending weeklong strike. (2022, May 2). Red Bluff Daily News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.redbluffdailynews.com/2022/05/02/nurses-reach-agreement-with-stanford-putting-an-end-week-long-strike/
  2. Thousands of Bay Area nurses go on strike over pay, bonuses and mental health services. (2022, April 25). ABC7 San Francisco. Retrieved May 2023, from https://abc7news.com/stanford-nurses-strike-lucile-packard-childrens-hospital-nurse-pay-lose-health-benefits/11788698/

May 9-14, 2022: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California

Who: Nearly 1000 workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Why: Workers demanding higher pay and better working conditions. Alleged lack of safety protection, and negotiating for a union contract.

Outcome: A three-year contract was agreed to by both parties. The agreement includes enhanced safety measures (such as access to appropriate personal protective equipment) and an average salary increase of 17.46% at the end of three years.

References:

  1. Cedars-Sinai workers strike for first time in decades, seek higher wages amid inflation. (2022, May 9). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-05-09/cedars-sinai-workers-strike-over-wages-conditions
  2. King, R. (2022, May 31). Cedars-Sinai reaches 3-year deal with union after 5-day strike. Fierce Healthcare. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/cedars-sinai-reaches-three-year-deal-union-after-5-day-strike

May 18-20, 2023: Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hawaii

Who: 50 psychologists, clinical social workers with licenses, medical social workers, psychiatric nurses, and counselors for drug dependency working in Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hawaii.

Why: Low wages, alleged inadequate mental health staff, staff wellness support, and concerns over long waiting times and lengthy delays for patients seeking one-on-one therapy.

Outcome: This strike occurred during the United States Mental Health Awareness Month. Both parties were not able to settle and come up with a contract. Another strike started at a later date in the year, 2022.

References:

  1. Maui now : Hawaiʻi kaiser clinicians poised to strike over dangerous lack in mental health services. (2022, May 15). | Hawaiʻi Kaiser clinicians poised to strike over dangerous lack in mental health services. Retrieved May 2023, from https://mauinow.com/2022/05/15/hawai%CA%BBi-kaiser-clinicians-poised-to-strike-over-dangerous-lack-in-mental-health-services/
  2. Muoio, D. (2022, August 29). Kaiser Permanente’s Hawaiian mental health workers join picket lines as strike enters third week. Fierce Healthcare. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/over-2000-kaiser-mental-health-workers-plan-open-ended-strike

May 23- June 23, 2022: Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey

Who: 350 nurses and technologists at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Why: Alleged lack of staff safety, health insurance, and retirement pensions.

Outcome: The new three-year agreement was approved and retroactive as of May 4, 2022. Full-time and part-time nurses and technicians will receive a 3 percent salary raise each contract year and increased weekend shift differential compensation.

Additionally, healthcare costs will be locked for the duration of the agreement, and safe staffing ratios will adhere to the state’s current hospital licensure requirements. Additionally, the contract addresses safety and includes a commitment to put cameras in the parking lot.

The nurses returned to work immediately.

References:

  1. Gooch, K. (2022, June 24). A 31-day strike at New Jersey hospital ends. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/31-day-strike-at-new-jersey-hospital-ends.html
  2. Nurses, and techs at New Jersey hospital stage strike over working conditions. (2022, May 23). ABC7 New York. Retrieved May 2023, from https://abc7ny.com/st-michaels-medical-center-newark-nurses-strike/11885012/
  3. AHMC Seton Medical Center nurses to hold a one-day strike to demand safe patient staffing. (2022, March 28). National Nurses United. https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/seton-medical-center-nurses-to-hold-one-day-strike-for-safe-patient-staffing

June 22-23, 2022: AHMC Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California

Who: 300 nurses at AHMC Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California.

Why: Alleged critical patient care issues, understaffing, increased workload, chronic lack of supplies, and the closure of two hospital departments by Seton.

Outcome: It is the second strike of nurses in AHMC Medical Center for the year 2022. The first strike happened in March 2022. The hospital disputes the union’s claims and opposes the strike. AHMC refused to address the nurses’ complaints and called off scheduled meetings at the last minute. AHMC administration is preventing the progress of the negotiation.

References:

  1. AHMC Seton Medical Center nurses begin 2-day strike. (2022, June 22). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/ahmc-seton-medical-center-nurses-2-day-strike-daly-city/
  2. Fishman, S. (2022, September 13). Daly city nurses will hold a two-day strike to address a local hospital’s closure of nursing facilities. KALW. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.kalw.org/kalw-news/2022-06-14/daly-city-nurses-will-hold-a-two-day-strike-to-address-a-local-hospitals-closure-of-nursing-facilities
  3. Bay City News. (2022, June 22). Nurses at AHMC Seton Medical Center go on 2-Day strike. NBC Bay Area. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/peninsula/nurses-at-ahmc-seton-medical-center-go-on-2-day-strike/2926504/
  4. Gooch, K. (2022, August 17). AHMC Seton Medical Center nurses launch 2nd strike of 2022. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/ahmc-seton-medical-center-nurses-launch-2nd-strike-of-2022.html
  5. Registered nurses at Seton announce two-day strike. (2022, June 12). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/seton-rns-announce-two-day-strike
  6. Seton nurses strike! (2022, June 28). National Nurses United. https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/seton-nurses-strike

June 23, 2022: Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center in Los Angeles, California

Who: 1,200 nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

Why: Alleged staff shortage, poor working conditions (lack of staff support, being overworked, no break), insufficient supplies, and lack of patient care and safety.

Outcome: Both sides acknowledged that they are still far from an agreement but expressed the desire to settle. Another strike occurred at a later date to protest the same issues.

References:

  1. Nurses at kaiser hospital in Los Angeles stage a one-day strike. (2022, June 24). Daily News. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.dailynews.com/2022/06/23/nurses-at-kaiser-hospital-in-los-angeles-stage-one-day-strike/
  2. Nurses strike: Kaiser nurses at LAMC hold 24-hour strike protesting alleged nurse shortage, supplies. (2022, June 24). ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved May 2023, from https://abc7.com/kaiser-nurse-protest-lamc-ppe/11991508/

July 18-August 2, 2022: Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California

Who: 300 healthcare and support workers at Sequoia Hospital (a division of Dignity Health, a San Francisco-based company).

Why: Workers demanded improved staffing conditions, higher wages, and more staff benefits (such as more employee investment).

Outcome: Health workers at Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital came to an agreement with the hospital on the ninth day of an open-ended strike.

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 829 bargaining team unanimously approved the new agreement. The union has been without a contract since June 30. The new contract includes a 16% rise over four years, which is effective immediately, along with a higher signing bonus and additional licensed nursing assistants on staff. The contract also eliminates any clause that would have permitted management to unilaterally increase healthcare benefit costs.

References:

  1. Hundreds of sequoia hospital healthcare workers strike amid bargaining deadlock. (2022, July 19). Senator Josh Becker. Retrieved May 2023, from https://sd13.senate.ca.gov/news/in-the-news/july-19-2022/hundreds-sequoia-hospital-healthcare-workers-strike-amid-bargaining
  2. Strike among workers at sequoia hospital in Redwood city ends after 11 days. (2022, August 2). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/sequoia-hospital-redwood-city-workers-strike-ends-after-11-days/
  3. Worthington, L. (2022, July 29). Sequoia hospital reaches agreement with health care union, ending two-week strike. Redwood City Pulse. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.rwcpulse.com/redwood-city-news/sequoia-hospital-reaches-agreement-with-health-care-union-ending-two-week-strike-5641701

August 15-October 18, 2022: Kaiser Permanente in Northern California

Who: 2,000 mental health care workers at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California.

Why: Low wages, alleged persistent understaffing, unsustainable workload, and alleged non-compliance with state law to provide timely access to mental health care.

Outcome: The union’s concern sparked the strike and spurred a state investigation into HMOs providing patients with timely access to appointments as required by state law. The 10-week strike by mental health therapists and staff in Northern California was put to an end by a tentative deal between Kaiser Permanente and the National Union of Healthcare Workers for a new four-year contract. The contract includes measures to manage clinicians’ workloads and cut patient waiting time.

References:

  1. Faulise, S. (2022, October 18). Update: Kaiser mental health workers reach a tentative agreement. The Oaklandside. Retrieved May 2023, from https://oaklandside.org/2022/10/18/kaiser-mental-health-workers-strike-northern-california-oakland/
  2. Hughes, S. (2022, October 14). Kaiser strikers insist you should be able to get an appointment when you need it. Labor Notes. Retrieved June 2023, from https://labornotes.org/2022/10/kaiser-strikers-insist-you-should-be-able-get-appointment-when-you-need-it
  3. Ugarte, J. (2022, August 10). Kaiser mental health therapists in northern California to begin strike August 15. World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/08/10/kais-a10.html

August 29, 2022- February 17, 2023: Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hawaii

Who: 52 psychologists, clinical social workers with licenses, medical social workers, psychiatric nurses, and counselors for drug dependency working in Kaiser Permanente facilities in Hawaii.

Why: Alleged inadequate mental health staff, staff wellness support, low wages, and concerns over long waiting times and lengthy delays for patients seeking one-on-one therapy.

Outcome: The 172-day strike came to an end with a tentative deal for a new three-year contract. It was considered to be the longest strike by mental healthcare workers in U.S. history. Important clauses in contracts include:

  • Minimum wage increases of 3% in 2023 and 2024 and 2% in 2025.
  • Kaiser should pay bilingual therapists an additional $1.50 per hour to assist them cater to the needs of non-English speakers.
  • Maintaining new hires’ pension benefits.

References:

  1. Davis, C. (2022, December 29). After 122 days on strike, little hope for deal in sight for kaiser mental health workers. https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2022/12/29/122-days-strike-contract-talks-stall-kaiser-permanente-mental-health-professionals/
  2. Gooch, K. (2023, April 17). Strike at kaiser-affiliated hospitals ends after nearly 2 months. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/strike-at-kaiser-affiliated-hospitals-ends-after-nearly-2-months.html
  3. Mental health therapists at Kaiser Permanente in Hawai’i ratify contract ending 172-day strike. (2023, February 27). National Union of Healthcare Workers. Retrieved June 2023, from https://nuhw.org/mental-health-therapists-at-kaiser-permanente-in-hawaii-ratify-contract-ending-172-day-strike/
  4. Muoio, D. (2023, February 17). Kaiser Permanente’s Hawaiian mental health workers announce deal to end 6-month strike. Fierce Healthcare. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/providers/kaiser-permanente-striking-mental-health-workers-announce-tentative-deal

September 12-14, 2022: Hospitals in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports in Minnesota

Who: 15,000 Minnesota Nurses Association members at 15 hospitals in Twin Cities and Twin Ports in Minnesota.

Why: Alleged staffing issues, poor working conditions, and low wages (Over three years before the strike, nurses have requested pay rises of almost 30%. The hospitals have responded by raising wages by more than 11% and have deemed the union’s request unfeasible.)

Outcome: Following the end of the strike, nurses started bargaining reasonable contracts to safeguard patient care and the nursing profession at the bedside. Hospital management was under increasing pressure from nurses to engage in contract discussions and reach a fair agreement. Later, the union threatened and approved a second three-week strike around the holidays. The union and health system approved new three-year contracts that addressed the staffing gap, preventing a second strike.

For the first time in history, the new contracts include:

  • New language to address the ongoing understaffing. The hospital management dismissed the issue and insisted on the status quo.
  • Historical pay increases of 18% over three years for nurses in the Twin Cities and 17% for nurses in the Twin Ports, with compensation retroactive to the end of the previous contract. These pay raises are the biggest MNA nurses have received in more than 20 years.
  • Safeguards for workplace safety

References:

  1. 15,000 Minnesota nurses to strike for three days starting Sept. 12. (2022, September 1). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/live-updates/minnesota-nurses-association-strike-decision-thursday/
  2. Largest private-sector nurses strike in U.S. history begins in Minnesota. (2022, September 12). The Washington Post. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/09/12/minnesota-nurses-strike/
  3. 15,000 nurses in Minnesota hold historic strike to prioritize patients before profits. (2022, December 12). National Nurses United. https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/article/minnesota-nurses-hold-historic-strike-to-prioritize-patients-over-profits
  4. Twin Cities and twin ports nurses win historic contracts. (2023, January 4). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/article/twin-cities-and-twin-ports-nurses-win-historic-contracts

September 22-24, 2022: Hartford HealthCare’s Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Connecticut

Who: 100 registered nurses at Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Connecticut.

Why: Alleged poor working conditions (issues on recruitment, retention, forced overtime, better pay), staffing shortages, insufficient benefits (such as economic investments), and concerns about patient safety.

Outcome: Both parties negotiated a new contract. However, another strike happened at a later date for the same reasons.

References:

  1. Nurses of Windham hospital hit picket line for 48 hour strike. (2022, September 22). https://www.wfsb.com. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.wfsb.com/2022/09/22/nurses-windham-hospital-prepare-48-hour-strike/
  2. Jones, M., Kenney, J., & Robbins, M. (2022, October 24). Healthcare workers strike at Windham hospital. https://www.wfsb.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wfsb.com/2022/10/24/healthcare-workers-plan-strike-windham-hospital/

October 3-5, 2022: Members of the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa

Who: 400 workers at MHealth Fairview’s University of Minnesota Medical Center and Allina Health’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

Why: Workers were striking for fair and equitable contracts, workplace safety and against alleged staffing issues, and inadequate patient access to mental health services.

Outcome:

(Strike averted at MHealth Fairview’s University) Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa members have called off a planned strike at MHealth Fairview, the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Less than two days before the workers were supposed to go on strike with mental health workers from Allina Health, more than 300 MHealth Fairview mental health workers from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa reached an agreement for a new contract with the university.

(Strike happened at Allina Health’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital) Allina Health executives allegedly refused to negotiate a first contract that would have included safe staffing, adequate health benefits, fundamental workplace protections, and fair wages during a time of inflation and an ongoing pandemic. As a result, mental health workers in Minneapolis and Fridley, Minnesota, who are represented by the Service Employees International Union, went on a three-day strike. Over 90 negotiations across different groups of SEIU and none have reached a first union contract. Around 500 healthcare workers with Allina Health planned to strike again if a settlement cannot be reached. Members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa planned to have a seven-day unfair labor practice strike on May 15, 2023. However, the union has called off the impending strike as a result of the tentative agreement.

References:

  1. Strike date set: Mental health workers at MHealth Fairview & Allina health file 10-day notice, set three-day strike to start Oct. 3rd. (2022, September 27). SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.seiuhealthcaremn.org/news/strike-date-set:-mental-health-workers-at-mhealth-fairview-and-allina-health-file-10-day-notice-set-three-day-strike-to-start-oct.-3rd/
  2. Hundreds of Allina health workers vote to authorize strike. (2023, May 4). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/hundreds-of-allina-health-workers-vote-to-authorize-strike/
  3. Gooch, K. (2023, May 11). Allina health workers avert strike. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/allina-health-workers-avert-strike.html
  4. Pera, R. (2022, October 17). Minnesota mental health workers strike: ‘Those who provide care have no support’. People’s World. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/minnesota-mental-health-workers-strike-those-who-provide-care-have-no-support/
  5. Epding, D. (2022, November 8). A breakdown of recent UMN-area strikes. The Minnesota Daily. Retrieved June 2023, from https://mndaily.com/274400/news/a-breakdown-of-recent-umn-area-strikes/
  6. Gooch, K. (2022, September 30). One strike planned, another averted in Minnesota. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/one-strike-planned-another-averted-in-minnesota.html

October 24-26, 2022: Hartford HealthCare’s Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Connecticut

Who: More than 100 registered nurses at Windham Hospital.

Why: Alleged poor working conditions (issues on recruitment, retention, forced overtime, better pay), staffing shortages and for better contracts.

Outcome: A year after their last contracts expired, the nurses at Windham Hospital in Connecticut have finally agreed to new terms with their employer Hartford HealthCare. The agreement includes eliminating mandatory overtime and a reduction in health insurance premiums is part of the new agreement. The contract is effective immediately.

References:

  1. Healthcare workers strike at Windham hospital. (2022, October 24). https://www.wfsb.com. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.wfsb.com/2022/10/24/healthcare-workers-plan-strike-windham-hospital/
  2. Jones, M., Kenney, J., & Robbins, M. (2022, October 24). Healthcare workers strike at Windham hospital. https://www.wfsb.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wfsb.com/2022/10/24/healthcare-workers-plan-strike-windham-hospital/
  3. Letendre, H. (2022, October 30). Windham hospital workers on strike. The Daily Campus. Retrieved June 2023, from https://dailycampus.com/2022/10/25/windham-hospital-workers-on-strike/
  4. Scott-Smith | WSHU, B. (2022, December 7). Windham hospital nurses reach deal with Hartford healthcare. CT Mirror. Retrieved June 2023, from https://ctmirror.org/2022/12/07/ct-windham-hospital-nurse-union-hartford-healthcare-deal/

December 24-January 2, 2022: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Berkeley, California

Who: 1,800 nurses of the California Nurses Association at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center campuses.

Why: Alleged low wages, shortage of staffing, workplace violence, high turnover rate, lack of safety and retirement concerns.

Outcome: After a 21-month system-wide contract dispute with Sutter Health, registered nurses at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC) decisively approved their collective bargaining agreement. The agreement will stay in effect until November 2027. The contract includes improved patient and nurse safety, nurse recruitment, and retention.

References:

  1. Sutter RNs and health care workers hold one-day strike. (2022, December 19). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/article/sutter-rns-and-health-care-workers-hold-one-day-strike
  2. Simpson, E. (2022, December 31). Nurses strike Sutter health hospitals over wages, staffing – The militant. The Militant – A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people. Retrieved June 2023, from https://themilitant.com/2022/12/31/nurses-strike-sutter-health-hospitals-over-wages-staffing/
  3. Sutter health nurses ratify strong contracts to improve recruitment and retention, patient safety. (2023, March 3). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/sutter-health-nurses-ratify-strong-contracts-to-improve-recruitment-retention-patient-safety

Nurse Strikes in 2021

Nurses across the United States went on strike in 2021 to protest poor working conditions, low pay, and inadequate staffing. The strikes, which took place in hospitals and other healthcare facilities in several states, drew attention to the challenges faced by nurses and the need for better healthcare worker protection. The following list contains notable nurse strikes that took place in the year of 2021.

March 8, 2021 – January 3, 2022: Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts

One of the most significant nurse strikes in 2021 in the United States. Nurses went on strike for over nine months. It is the longest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts history, lasting nearly ten months and over 43 negotiations.

Who: 800 nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Why: Alleged understaffing, inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for nurses, lack of break time, and job security.

Outcome: The hiring of 123 nurses, better working conditions, and increased compensation were included under a new contract which will last until December 2025.

The new agreement includes:

  • Limiting the number of patients in behavior health units to five (an improvement in the staffing ratio of six to seven patients per unit before)
  • Providing resource nurses on almost every unit (additional nurses who can help in a variety of capacities)
  • A language that restricts the hospital’s ability to flex nurses, a contentious practice that sends nurses home and creates unsafe conditions when patients are needed
  • A new regulation to safeguard nurses’ working safety
  • Two nurse seats in the Hospital Workplace Safety Committee to enable them to keep track of assaults against nurses
  • Subjecting all patients and visitors to a metal detector screening at the facility
  • Assault pay if a patient or visitor assaults the nurses
  • Reimbursing the first five days of used sick or vacation
  • Allowing the use of sick or vacation days if an assault occurs

All hospital beds reopened, and nurses went back to work on January 22, 2022.

References:

  1. Reflecting on the longest nurses strike in Massachusetts history. (2022, January 3). Retrieved May 2023, from https://spectrumnews1.com/ma/worcester/news/2022/01/03/looking-back-on-st-vincent-nurses-strike
  2. Saint Vincent hospital nurses approve new deal to end historic strike. (2022, January 4). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/saint-vincent-hospital-nurses-end-strike-worcester/
  3. Staff, & Reports, W. (2022, January 3). Saint Vincent hospital nurse strike ends with ratification of new contract. NBC Boston. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/saint-vincent-hospital-nurse-strike-ends-with-ratification-of-new-contract/2604362/

March 4-12, 2021: St. Charles Health System’s in Bend, Oregon

Who: About 150 technical staff on the St. Charles Bend campus.

Why: Staff demanded fair pay that can keep up with the increasing cost of living and fair contracts.

Outcome: When negotiations with a federal mediator were resumed on March 10, 2021, the striking employees decided to come back to work on March 15 and stop their daily picketing. The two parties have reached a tentative agreement on a first-time contract. The contract will be put to a vote. Once ratified, the agreement will become effective.

References:

  1. Cureton, E. (2021, March 5). Bend hospital workers begin strike. KLCC | NPR for Oregonians. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.klcc.org/2021-03-04/bend-hospital-workers-begin-strike
  2. Gooch, K. (2021, February 22). Oregon hospital workers file strike notice. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/oregon-hospital-workers-file-strike-notice.html
  3. St. Charles, medical techs’ union reach agreement on first contract after walkout. (2021, March 28). KTVZ. Retrieved June 2023, from https://ktvz.com/news/business/2021/03/28/st-charles-medical-techs-union-reach-agreement-on-first-contract-after-walkout/

April 16-18, 2021: Barton Memorial Hospital In South Lake Tahoe, California

Who: 155 unionized nurses represented by the California Nurses Association at Barton Memorial Hospital In South Lake Tahoe, California.

Why: Low wages, alleged staff shortage, issues with nurse recruitment and retention, increasing turnover rates, poor working conditions, lacking health benefits.

Outcome: The contract has not been settled as of writing. As of June 1, 2023, 64 sessions had been held, 43 Tentative Agreements had been made, and only 5 remained. A Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service representative has attended six bargaining sessions.

In February 2020, Barton Health gave the union a complete and final contract. However, it has not been ratified. Barton Health proposed an average hourly rate of $49 and a 17% average pay raise over four years. The proposal received few responses. The two parties were unable to reach an agreement.

References:

  1. Barton health | Union facts. (n.d.). Barton Health | bartonhealth.org. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.bartonhealth.org/tahoe/union-facts.aspx
  2. Barton memorial hospital nurses call 2-day strike starting April 16. (2021, April 17). Synapse – Global Drug Intelligence Database. Retrieved June 2023, from https://synapse.patsnap.com/news-detail/a55e5f2b-2993-3fd0-b878-adf98f359746-barton-memorial-hospital-nurses-call-2-day-strike-starting-april-16
  3. Barton RNs to hold two-day strike April 16-17. (2021, April 12). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/barton-rns-hold-two-day-strike-april-16-17
  4. Nurses strike for patient safety. (2021, October 12). The American Leader. Retrieved June 2023, from https://theamericanleader.org/progress-update/nurses-strike-for-patient-safety/
  5. Staff, K. (2021, April 17). Tahoe nurses strike outside Barton memorial hospital. KCRA. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.kcra.com/article/tahoe-nurses-strike-outside-barton-memorial-hospital/36152590

April 21-24, 2021: Tyler Memorial Hospital in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

Who: Roughly 100 hospital workers at Tyler Memorial Hospital in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania.

Why: Alleged staff shortage, unfair labor practices, low pay, old equipment, and alleged poor working conditions.

Outcome: Contract negotiations with the hospital were not resolved. The hospital discontinued offering surgical and acute inpatient care in September 2021. While its emergency room permanently closed on July 1, 2022.

References:

  1. Fearon, D. (2021, April 20). Tyler memorial hospital workers to strike Wednesday. WOLF. Retrieved May 2023, from https://fox56.com/news/local/tyler-hospital-workers-to-strike-wednesday
  2. Nurses strike for patient safety. (2021, October 12). The American Leader. Retrieved June 2023, from https://theamericanleader.org/progress-update/nurses-strike-for-patient-safety/
  3. Butler, C., & Squires, S. (2021, July 27). Tyler memorial hospital to close emergency department. PAhomepage.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.pahomepage.com/news/tyler-memorial-hospital-to-close-emergency-department/
  4. Commonwealth health to continue emergency room and outpatient services in Tunkhannock. (2021, August 30). Commonwealth Health System | Kingston | Scranton | Tunkhannock | Wilkes-Barre | Pennsylvania. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.commonwealthhealth.net/news-room/commonwealth-health-to-continue-emergency-room-and-17092
  5. Keely, M. (2022, May 3). Wyoming County hospital emergency to shut down. wnep.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wnep.com/article/news/local/wyoming-county/wyoming-county-emergency-room-to-close-for-good-commonwealth-health-connor-croc-tunkhannock-tyler-memorial/523-30b3f757-542a-40b3-94e6-a4748b67f634
  6. Ellison, A. (2021, September 1). CHS to end inpatient, surgical care at Pennsylvania hospital Sept. 17. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/patient-flow/chs-to-end-inpatient-surgical-care-at-pennsylvania-hospital-sept-17.html

May 25-26, 2021: Chinese Hospital in San Francisco, California

Who: Almost 100 registered nurses at the Chinese Hospital in San Francisco, California.

Why: Alleged staff shortage, issues with patient care, and nurse retention, alleged poor working condition.

Outcome: Registered nurses ratified their first union contract in October 2021. Strong patient and nurse protections are part of the three-year agreement. The contract provides placement on a pay scale with yearly raise guarantees and tenure step increases, and compensation increases of at least 10% over three years. Ratification bonuses were also given to nurses. The new contract offers fresh chances for career progression. The deal can help the facility recruit and retain experienced nurses, especially bilingual nurses which are critical for the patient population they are serving.

References:

  1. Nurses hold one-day strike at San Francisco Chinese hospital. (2021, May 25). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/nurses-hold-strike-at-san-francisco-chinese-hospital/
  2. Registered nurses strike at San Francisco’s Chinese hospital. (2021, May 25). KRON4. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/registered-nurses-strike-at-san-franciscos-chinese-hospital/
  3. Victory for Chinese hospital nurses. (2022, December 19). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/article/victory-for-chinese-hospital-nurses

June 1-4, 2021: Logan Health in Kalispell, Montana

Who: Over 650 nurses at Logan Health in Kalispell, Montana.

Why: Staffing issues, nurse retention, alleged unfair working conditions, and low wages. Nurses also demanded the establishment of a nurse staffing committee, reinstatement of the charge nurse on each unit.

Outcome: After two years of negotiations between the union and the hospital, they occasionally attracted media attention and proceeded with the strike. Despite the short duration of the strike, a union deal was reached. On September 16, Kalispell, Montana-based Logan Health’s registered nurses settled on their first union contract, which includes seniority recognition and pay increases. The salary for nurses was raised by 7% overall. A staffing committee made up of 12 unionized nurses and 10 managers will be established. Benefit increases and seniority recognition for job postings and restructures are included in the agreement.

References:

  1. Logan health nurses begin three-day strike. (2021, June 1). Daily Inter Lake. Retrieved May 2023, from https://dailyinterlake.com/news/2021/jun/01/logan-health-nurses-begin-three-day-strike/
  2. Nurses strike at Logan Health. (2021, June 2). ABC Fox MT | MT News – Breaking News & Weather | Nonstop Local News Montana. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.montanarightnow.com/kalispell/nurses-strike-at-logan-health/article_9cb52ac6-c2e9-11eb-b514-ff1644aeb05f.html
  3. Gooch, K. (2021, September 17). Logan health nurses approve first union contract. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/logan-health-nurses-approve-first-union-contract.html

June 24- July 12, 2021: Cook County Health in Chicago, Illinois

Who: More than 900 nurses from the following:

  • Stroger, John H. Jr. Hospital
  • Deliverance Hospital
  • Clinics of the Cook County Health System
  • Department of Corrections for Cook County

Why: Persistent shortage of nursing staff and alleged patient care issues.

Outcome: Chicago’s Cook County healthcare workers and the county agreed on July 13, capping an 18-day strike. After a single day of strike action, a deal was achieved. A four-year labor agreement was “overwhelmingly” approved by Cook County Health nurses. The contract includes:

  • Cook County Health approving a 300-nurse recruitment within the next 18 months
  • Salary increases range from 12% to 31%
  • Additional 19 new patient care support posts across different units
  • Establishment of an infectious illness task group in the case of an infectious disease emergency (The task group, which will be made up of managers and registered nurses, will meet frequently to discuss how to best offer safe patient care and establish a safe working environment for nurses and other healthcare professionals.)

References:

  1. Cook County nurses strike for 1 day over staffing issues. (2021, June 24). NBC Chicago. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/cook-county-nurses-strike-for-1-day-over-staffing-issues/2539875/
  2. Nurses picket at Stroger hospital during one-day strike. (2021, June 24). Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-cook-county-health-nurses-strike-20210624-d4f4lmgbnjaqrgynxpkht4kkg4-story.html
  3. Over 1,200 Cook County nurses plan strike, saying CCH short hundreds in staff. (2021, June 24). ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved May 2023, from https://abc7chicago.com/cook-county-health-nurses-cch/10826685/
  4. Cook County nurses approve contract addressing short-staffing, patient care after strike, union says. (2021, July 3). ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved June 2023, from https://abc7chicago.com/cook-county-health-nurses-cch/10856261/

October 1 – November 4, 2021: Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, New York

Who: About 2,000 Mercy Hospital staff represented by the Communications Workers of America.

Why: Alleged staff shortage and alleged poor working conditions.

Outcome: The proposed contract was approved by a 94% majority of the union members. The staff went back to work immediately. Nurses ratified a total of six contracts that apply to all Catholic Health system hospitals. The contract includes improvements including a basic compensation of $15 per hour, safe staffing ratios of one nurse to four patients, and preserved retirement and health benefits.

References:

  1. Agreement reached to end strike at buffalo’s mercy hospital. (2021, November 5). AP NEWS. Retrieved May 2023, from https://apnews.com/article/health-buffalo-strikes-kathy-hochul-communications-workers-of-america-3e2e08d2b958d8a3716a776bb741b75d
  2. Tentative deal reached to end Mercy Hospital strike. (2021, November 4). Buffalo News | Breaking News | buffalonews.com | Read the latest Buffalo, NY, and Erie County news from the Buffalo News. Get headlines on local weather, entertainment, and events. Retrieved May 2023, from https://buffalonews.com/business/local/tentative-deal-reached-to-end-mercy-hospital-strike/article_898cc7fa-277b-11ec-8d5d-5bccbbd2e76d.html
  3. Roesser, B. (2021, November 9). Mercy hospital of buffalo strike ends, staff to return to work. Spectrum News 1. Retrieved June 2023, from https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/buffalo/news/2021/11/09/mercy-hospital-of-buffalo-strike-ends–staff-to-return-to-work

October 4, 2021: Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, California

Who: Over 350 healthcare workers at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch.

Why: Alleged staff shortage, overwork, patient care issues, poor management decisions by the hospital.

Outcome: Both parties have participated in negotiations but no contract has been agreed on. Another strike happened at a later date.

References:

  1. 350 healthcare workers on strike at Sutter hospital in Antioch. (2021, October 4). ABC7 San Francisco. Retrieved May 2023, from https://abc7news.com/antioch-hospital-strike-sutter-delta-medical-center-healthcare-workers-union-health-care/11079033/
  2. Bay City News. (2021, October 4). Hospital workers at Sutter delta in Antioch go on strike over staffing shortages. NBC Bay Area. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/hospital-workers-at-sutter-delta-in-antioch-go-on-strike-over-staffing-shortages/2672740/
  3. Sutter health workers in Antioch go on strike. (2021, October 4). KRON4. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/sutter-health-workers-in-antioch-go-on-strike/
  4. Menez, J., & Staff Writer. (2021, December 30). Employees at Sutter delta Medical Center stage five-day walk-out. thepress.net. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.thepress.net/townnews/work/employees-at-sutter-delta-medical-center-stage-five-day-walk-out/article_83273c82-431a-11ec-897d-132c0b13abff.html

October 5-7, 2021: McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon

Who: More than 400 frontline healthcare workers at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield.

Why: Alleged staff shortage, high turnover, low wages, hospital outsourcing jobs, inadequate affordable healthcare, and inadequate COVID-19 protections.

Outcome: The hospital and the union have been discussing their primary contract. Nurses have been negotiating with the hospital about outsourcing of some jobs. Another strike was conducted at a later date to protest the same reasons.

References:

  1. Frontline healthcare workers strike McKenzie-willamette. (2021, October 13). nwLaborPress. Retrieved May 2023, from https://nwlaborpress.org/2021/10/frontline-healthcare-workers-strike-mckenzie-willamette/
  2. McDonald, R. (2021, October 4). Workers at McKenzie-willamette Medical Center plan to strike this week. OPB. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.opb.org/article/2021/10/04/mckenzie-willamette-medical-center-health-care-workers-strike-springfield-oregon/
  3. Brown, J., & The Register-Guard. (2021, December 6). More than 300 McKenzie-willamette hospital workers strike again over safety concerns, pay. Register-Guard. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.registerguard.com/story/news/2021/12/06/mckenzie-willamette-hospital-springfield-workers-strike-over-safety-concerns-pay/6405582001/

October 17-20, 2021: Abbott Northwestern WestHealth in Plymouth, Minnesota

Who: 50 nurses members of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) at WestHealth.

Why: For fair pay for holiday work, adequate benefits and against nurses being required to work more days and longer hours.

Outcome: Negotiations between Allina and the nurses have been ongoing since May 2021. The Minnesota Nurses Association and the hospital made seven attempts at negotiation over several months but were unsuccessful each time. There was no agreement reached on the strike. Another strike occurred at a later date.

References:

  1. FOX 9 Staff. (2021, October 17). Allina’s WestHealth ER, urgent care in Plymouth to close during nurses strike. FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.fox9.com/news/allinas-westhealth-er-urgent-care-in-plymouth-to-close-during-nurses-strike
  2. Nurses strike enters day 2 at WestHealth in Plymouth. (2021, October 18). CBS News – Breaking news, 24/7 live streaming news & top stories. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/nurses-strike-enters-day-2-at-allina-health-clinic-in-plymouth/
  3. Cox, P. (2021, October 17). Nurses in Plymouth return after three-day strike. MPR News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/10/17/allina-temporarily-closes-er-and-urgent-care-location-in-plymouth-following-nurses-strike

November 3- December 1, 2021: Cabell Huntington Hospital in West Virginia

Who: Almost 1,000 staff at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Why: For better wages, quality care, work ethic, safe staffing, better training for new staff, and continued health insurance coverage.

Outcome: The hospital operated with temporary staff during the strike. It resumed the negotiation between the two parties. However, workers on strike were placed in a temporary restraining order until December 10, 2021. It prohibited specific activities outside the hospital.

The strike lasted for 28 days. Staff returned to work immediately. The latest proposal from Cabell Huntington Hospital was put to the nurses’ vote, and nurses accepted the contract. The three-year labor agreement will go into effect on December 1, 2021, and end on November 15, 2024.

References:

  1. About 1,000 Cabell Huntington hospital service workers remain on strike. (2021, November 3). https://www.wsaz.com. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.wsaz.com/2021/11/03/cabell-huntington-hospital-releases-statement-about-rejection-contract-offer/
  2. Hodousek, C. (2021, October 21). Cabell Huntington hospital employees threaten to strike over pay, benefits. WV MetroNews. https://wvmetronews.com/2021/10/21/cabell-huntington-hospital-employees-threaten-to-strike-over-pay-benefits/
  3. WVa hospital, striking union set to resume negotiations. (2021, November 29). https://www.wdtv.com. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wdtv.com/2021/11/29/wva-hospital-striking-union-set-resume-negotiations/
  4. Saunders, A. (2021, November 27). Nurses at Cabell Huntington hospital raise concerns about conditions inside during strike. WCHS. Retrieved June 2023, from https://wchstv.com/news/local/nurses-at-cabell-huntington-hospital-raise-concerns-about-conditions-inside-during-strike
  5. Fitzwater, J. (2021, December 2). Cabell Huntington hospital strike ends with contract approval. WOWK 13 News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wowktv.com/news/west-virginia/cabell-huntington-hospital-strike-ends-with-contract-approval/

November 8-12, 2021: Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, California

Who: More than 350 staff at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, California.

Why: Alleged inadequate staffing for average patient levels, overwork, poor working condition, alleged unfair labor practices, inadequate compensation, patient and staff safety, and failed negotiations between the medical facility and the healthcare workers’ union.

Outcome: Following a strike on October 4 for the same reasons, this was the second protest at the medical center in recent weeks. The deal offered a 13% compensation increase over four years, with employees receiving a 3% yearly raise each year for the first three years and a 4% increase in the fourth. Additionally, employees and their families would receive complete employer-paid health insurance. The nurses did not accept the offer. No agreement was settled. Another strike happened at a later date.

References:

  1. SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. (2021, November 7). SEIU-UHW: Sutter health cancels mediation, forcing Antioch healthcare workers into second strike over unfair labor practices. PR Newswire: press release distribution, targeting, monitoring and marketing. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/seiu-uhw-sutter-health-cancels-mediation-forcing-antioch-healthcare-workers-into-second-strike-over-unfair-labor-practices-301418158.html
  2. Gooch, K. (2021, November 8). Sutter health workers to strike second time. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/sutter-health-workers-to-strike-second-time.html
  3. Menez, J., & Staff Writer. (2021, December 30). Employees at Sutter delta Medical Center stage five-day walk-out. thepress.net. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.thepress.net/townnews/work/employees-at-sutter-delta-medical-center-stage-five-day-walk-out/article_83273c82-431a-11ec-897d-132c0b13abff.html
  4. Brown, J., & The Register-Guard. (2021, December 6). More than 300 McKenzie-Willamette hospital workers strike again over safety concerns, pay. Register-Guard. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.registerguard.com/story/news/2021/12/06/mckenzie-willamette-hospital-springfield-workers-strike-over-safety-concerns-pay/6405582001/

November 18, 2021: UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Who: More than 100 staff at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Why: For increases of $20 per hour minimum wage, affordable high-quality healthcare, elimination of all medical debt, and respect for union rights.

Outcome: Parties agreed on enhancements to employee benefits and compensation plans, including an increase in starting pay to $15.75 in January.

References:

  1. Lindstrom, N. (2021, November 18). Several dozen UPMC workers demand right to unionize in 1-day walkout against health giant. TribLIVE.com. Retrieved May 2023, from https://triblive.com/news/health-now/pay-us-what-were-worth-several-dozen-upmc-workers-demand-right-to-unionize-in-1-day-strike-against-health-giant/
  2. UPMC hospital workers in Pittsburgh walk off the job, protesting wages and health care costs. (2022, March 11). 90.5 WESA. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.wesa.fm/health-science-tech/2021-11-17/hundreds-of-upmc-hospital-workers-in-pittsburgh-plan-to-walk-off-the-job-thursday
  3. Gooch, K. (2021, November 18). UPMC workers plan Nov. 18 walkout. Becker’s Hospital Review – Healthcare News. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hr/upmc-workers-to-strike-nov-18.html

December 6-11, 2021: McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon

Who: More than 300 workers at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield.

Why: Alleged staff shortage, high turnover, low wages, hospital outsourcing jobs, inadequate affordable healthcare, inadequate COVID-19 protections, and inadequate better contract terms.

Outcome: This was the second strike after the October 2021 strike. In February 2022, the McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield had a new three-year collective bargaining agreement in place for the staff. The new agreement includes that all employees must receive a 4.5% salary increase in the first year and 3% raises in the second and third years. A $300 ratification award and a $750 COVID appreciation payment will also be given to represented employees.

References:

  1. Brown, J., & The Register-Guard. (2021, December 6). More than 300 McKenzie-willamette hospital workers strike again over safety concerns, pay. Register-Guard. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.registerguard.com/story/news/2021/12/06/mckenzie-willamette-hospital-springfield-workers-strike-over-safety-concerns-pay/6405582001/
  2. SEIU local 49 stages another strike at McKenzie-willamette medical. (2021, December 6). KLCC | NPR for Oregonians. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.klcc.org/health-medicine/2021-12-06/seiu-local-49-stages-another-strike-at-mckenzie-willamette-medical
  3. After two strikes, Springfield hospital workers approve the contract. (2022, February 2). nwLaborPress. Retrieved June 2023, from https://nwlaborpress.org/2022/02/after-two-strikes-springfield-hospital-workers-approve-contract/

Nurse Strikes in 2020

There were several nurse strikes in the United States in 2020. Reasons include:

  • Low pay
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Inadequate staffing

The strikes had a significant impact on the healthcare system and led to increased attention to the needs of nurses. The strikes were often successful in achieving their goals, and they helped to raise awareness of the challenges facing nurses.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have been on the front lines, providing care to patients who are sick with the virus. They have worked long hours, under challenging conditions, and at significant risk to their health.

Despite their sacrifices, many nurses have seen their pay and benefits cut and have been forced to work with fewer staff members. This has increased stress and burnout, making it challenging for nurses to provide safe and effective care.

The nurse strikes that have taken place in recent years are a sign that nurses are reaching a breaking point. They are tired of being overworked and underpaid and demanding better working conditions.

March 5-7, 2020: San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, California

Who: 750 nurses at San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, California.

Why: Alleged unsafe patient staffing, nurse retention issues, alleged poor working conditions and inadequate wages.

Outcome: Negotiations are ongoing between the hospital management and nurses. Another strike occurred before the agreement has been settled.

References:

  1. Ibarra, R. (2020, March 6). Nurses at San Joaquin General Hospital strike over salary and working conditions. capradio.org. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.capradio.org/articles/2020/03/06/nurses-at-san-joaquin-general-hospital-strike-over-salary-and-working-conditions/
  2. RNs at San Joaquin General Hospital to hold two-day strike March 5 and 6. (2020, March 4). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/rns-san-joaquin-general-hospital-hold-two-day-strike-march-5-and-6
  3. San Joaquin County nurses ratify a new contract with protections to improve patient safety. (2021, April 1). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/san-joaquin-county-nurses-ratify-new-contract-improve-patient-safety

June 26-July 5, 2020: Community Hospital in Riverside, California

Who: About 500 nurses at Community Hospital in Riverside, California.

Why: Alleged understaffing, lack of PPE, no extra precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak, and patient safety issues.

Outcome: The 10-day strike ended with no agreements. Another strike occurred at a later date.

References:

  1. FOX 11. (2020, June 26). Riverside hospital nurses launch 10-day strike over staffing concerns, PPE needs, patient safety. FOX 11 Los Angeles. https://www.foxla.com/news/riverside-hospital-nurses-launch-10-day-strike-over-staffing-concerns-ppe-needs-patient-safety
  2. Nurses begin 10-day strike at Riverside community hospital. (2020, June 27). Press Enterprise. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.pressenterprise.com/2020/06/26/nurses-strike-at-riverside-community-hospital-begins/
  3. Johnson, A. (2020, July 4). Riverside, California: HCA nurses strike continues as coronavirus takes its toll. World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/07/04/hcas-j04.html
  4. Sestito, M., & The Desert Sun. (2020, December 14). Riverside community hospital nurses deliver strike notice but are ‘close to a contract’. Palm Springs Desert Sun. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/health/2020/12/14/riverside-nurses-deliver-strike-notice-but-close-contract/6541311002/

July 4-20, 2020: AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois

Who: 720 nurses at AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois.

Why: Alleged unsafe staffing, unfair labor practices, failure to reach an agreement, preservation of sick leave, PTO benefits, and inadequate wages.

Outcome: Nurses ratified a new three-year contract, ending a 16-day strike. The contract includes:

  • Improving the staffing guidelines before December 31, 2020
  • Improving staffing throughout the hospital
  • Allowing the nurses to request to have their concerns put addressed on the Staffing and Acuity Committee Meeting Agenda and the Committee with attending CNO. If the issue were not resolved in the Staffing and Acuity Committee meeting, the issue may be placed on the next Labor- 2 Management meeting.
  • Capping the health insurance premium contributions at 25% for full-time nurses and 35% for part-time nurses
  • Improvements to the Staffing and Acuity Committee
  • Increased salary to a 2% step wage increase in the second year and a 2% step wage increase in the third year

References:

  1. AMITA health St. Joseph nurses walk off job in the first strike since 1993. (2020, July 4). ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved May 2023, from https://abc7chicago.com/nurse-strike-amita-joliet-health/6297679/
  2. Nurses go on strike at Joliet hospital. (2020, July 4). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 2023, from https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/2020/7/4/21313399/nurses-strike-joliet-st-joseph-amita-illinois-association
  3. Asplund, J. (2020, July 21). Amita St. Joseph nurses end the strike, approve three-year contract. Crain’s Chicago Business. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.chicagobusiness.com/health-care/amita-st-joseph-nurses-end-strike-approve-three-year-contract
  4. Bredeson, E. (2020, July 21). Nurses approve AMITA contract. 1340 WJOL. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.wjol.com/nurses-approve-amita-contract/

July 20 – 24, 2020: Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa, California

Who: 740 healthcare workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Why: Proposed reductions in sick leave and health care benefits, staff shortage, and a alleged lack of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 health emergency.

Outcome: Healthcare workers approved a new contract, ending the country’s largest pandemic-era strike in July. The contract includes:

  • A 13 percent increase over four years
  • Maintained the PPO health plan
  • Use of PTO (paid time off) credits to prevent PTO loss
  • A higher contribution for retirement plans
  • Retained protections against floating or subcontracting

References:

  1. Hundreds of Santa Rosa health care workers plan week of picketing. (2020, July 20). ABC7 San Francisco. https://abc7news.com/santa-rosa-memorial-hospital-strike-health-care-workers-on-north-bay-national-union-of-healthcare-worker/6325461/
  2. Santa Rosa hospital workers strike over health care costs, sick time. (2020, July 21). Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Retrieved May 2023, from https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/santa-rosa-memorial-hospital-workers-begin-five-day-strike-over-pay-and-sic/
  3. Santa Rosa memorial workers stage biggest strike since pandemic’s onset. (2020, July 28). National Union of Healthcare Workers. Retrieved June 2023, from https://nuhw.org/santa-rosa-memorial-workers-stage-biggest-strike-since-pandemics-onset/
  4. Santa Rosa memorial workers win four-year contract. (2020, December 28). National Union of Healthcare Workers. Retrieved June 2023, from https://nuhw.org/santa-rosa-memorial-workers-win-four-year-contract/

September 12-19, 2020: University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, Illinois

Who: 800 nurses at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

Why: Safer working conditions including better safe personal protection equipment.

Outcome: The nurses returned to work on September 19 without an agreement. However, negotiations continued. In October 2020, the University of Illinois Hospital and the Illinois Nurses Association agreed to a new contract.

About 1,400 employees are covered by the four-year agreement. An overwhelming majority of voters approved the contract. The new agreement includes the following:

  • Salary increases begin at 1% and increase to 2% by the fourth year
  • Recruitment of 160 nurses to decrease the staffing ratio
  • More personal safety equipment
  • Commitment to making structural alterations and redesigning the hospital’s ventilation system

References:

  1. ABC News. (2020, September 15). Estimated 1,000 Chicago health care workers striking for better conditions. Retrieved May 2023, from https://abcnews.go.com/US/800-chicago-nurses-strike-safer-working-conditions/story?id=72998295
  2. Nurses launch seven-day strike at University of Illinois hospital. (2020, September 14). Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 2023, from https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/9/12/21433746/nurses-strike-uic-university-illinois-hospital
  3. UIC nurses launch 7-Day strike, SEIU workers to join forces Monday. (2020, September 12). WTTW News. Retrieved May 2023, from https://news.wttw.com/2020/09/12/uic-nurses-launch-7-day-strike-seiu-workers-join-forces-monday
  4. Chase, B. (2020, October 2). Nurses approve contract with University of Illinois hospital. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 2023, from https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/10/1/21497056/university-of-illinois-hospital-nurses-association-strike

October 7-11, 2020: San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, California

Who: 750 nurses at San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, California.

Why: Alleged hospital administration’s refusal to address nurses’ concerns about safe patient care staffing, inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), alleged unfair contracts.

Outcome: Registered nurses at San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, California unanimously approved a new two-year contract. The agreement is the final result of a lengthy negotiation that lasted two years and involved bargaining in the following dates:

  • A picket in July 2019
  • A two-day strike in March 2020
  • A five-day strike in October 2020
  • A three-day strike by nurses that was scheduled to begin on February 27, 2021, was called off due to a tentative agreement between two partier

After the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors’ decisions were approved in April 2021, the contract took effect. The contract includes:

  • Health and safety for nurses
  • Protection against workplace violence
  • Increased compensation and health benefit protections
  • Improved nurse retention and recruitment
  • Annual across-the-board salary increase of 4 percent, 3 percent equity pay increase for the majority of in-patient experienced nurses
  • Retention of standards and benefits from the previous contract, with no takeaways

References:

  1. Nurses in San Joaquin County’s health system to hold five-day strike, starting Oct. 7. (2020, October 15). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/nurses-san-joaquin-countys-health-system-hold-five-day-strike-starting-oct-7
  2. San Joaquin County nurses ratify a new contract with protections to improve patient safety. (2021, April 1). National Nurses United. Retrieved June 2023, from https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/san-joaquin-county-nurses-ratify-new-contract-improve-patient-safety

What is a Nurse Strike?

A nurse strike is a labor action whereby nurses refuse to work. It is a protest against their employer. Nurses have been protesting and striking for multiple reasons, including the following:

  • Poor working conditions
  • Inadequate staffing
  • Low wages
  • Lack of benefits

A nurse strike aims to gain concessions from the employer by disrupting the provision of healthcare services.

The American Nurses Association states that strikes can affect nurses and their patients. Patients may have longer in order to receive care and might not receive the care they require during a strike. 

Nurses who strike risk to suffer the consequences of:

  • Financial loss
  • Loss of professional standing
  • Disruption to personal and family lives

However, nurses usually use strikes as a last resort option if all other means of communication and negotiation have been exhausted. It is legal for nurses to demand changes in their work environments.

Why are Nurses Striking?

Nurses across the U.S. have been striking for several reasons. They believe the healthcare industry should provide safe working conditions and adequate staffing to ensure patient care delivery. 

Over the years, the healthcare industry has transformed and evolved. Nurses have been striking primarily due to the following:

  • Poor working conditions
  • Low wages
  • Inadequate staffing
  • Lack of benefits

Nurses are expected to:

  • Cover additional roles
  • Work extra shifts
  • Handle heavier patient loads, leading to overexertion and burnout 

These poor working conditions can affect the quality of healthcare provided to patients. 

One of the most pressing issues is inadequate staffing at many hospitals. Nurses are expected to care for an excessive number of patients. It increases nurses’ stress and burnout and compromises patient care and safety.

Another significant issue is unsafe working conditions. Nurses often have to deal with various hazardous conditions, including:

  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Needlestick injuries
  • Workplace violence

In short, striking nurses often ask for:

  • Better compensation
  • Higher wages
  • Health insurance
  • Retirement benefits

Nurses believe the healthcare industry is responsible for providing safe working conditions and staffing for patient care delivery. It is frustrating for nurses who have dedicated their lives to helping others.

How Nurse Strikes Affect Patients

Nurse strikes affect patients in various ways. Nursing staff plays a key role in providing medical care to patients. A lack of experienced nursing staff can have severe consequences for patient outcomes. 

Patients are left uncertain, and their health becomes a matter of which healthcare workers can attend to them. An increased risk of medical errors, infections, and complications impacts patients. 

Moreover, patients requiring specialized treatment or 24-hour care tend to face the most significant risks due to staffing and resource constraints during nurse strikes. 

Nurse strikes can also exacerbate staffing issues. It is forcing hospitals to hire outside staff who may need to become more familiar with hospital procedures and patients. Hiring unskilled staff could increase the likelihood of:

  • Medical errors
  • Inconsistencies in patient care
  • Compromised patient safety

What to Expect During Nurse Strikes

During an anticipated nurse strike, the following are expected:

  • Striking Nurses Give Notice in Advance: Rules may differ from institution to organization. It is customary for nurses to implement safety measures before striking.
  • Traveling nurses fill gaps: Hospitals are still required to keep nurses on duty during strikes. They employ temporary replacements (such as travel nurses) to fill the gaps.
  • Transfer of Patients: Due to staffing shortages, hospitals may also move patients to adjacent healthcare institutions. Hospitals generally hire temporary employees to assist during strikes.

Nurses and hospitals try to ensure that patients are not severely affected. Employees unfamiliar with new protocols could lead to lower-quality care.

What to Expect in the Future

The nurses on strike claim that staffing shortages have existed for some time. The pandemic has made matters worse. The aging nursing workforce was already a problem before the pandemic. The pandemic has disproportionately driven younger nurses out of the field at a time when they are urgently required. Inexperienced nurses are not accustomed to managing challenging circumstances (like watching patients suffer and die) when they cannot give standard medical care.

According to a Current Population Survey analysis published in Health Affairs in January 2022, there were almost 100,000 fewer working nurses in the United States between 2020 and 2021. It is the most significant single-year reduction ever observed in four decades of data.

Nurse strikes are expected to continue in the coming years as nurses strive to attain the following:

  • Better wages
  • Working conditions
  • Adequate staffing ratios

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