On the Picket Line

Nurses strike for pay parity, better conditions in Oakland

By Jeff Powers
November 14, 2022

OAKLAND, Calif.—Nurses working at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center organized by the California Nurses Association conducted a weeklong strike here Oct. 24-28 demanding a substantial wage increase and better working conditions. Pickets told the Militant  they wanted parity with other nurses in the Bay Area.

“We are seeing a mass exodus of nurses from the medical center due to the poor working conditions,” Mike Hill, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit, said in a nursing association press release. “We have nurses working overtime, and even double shifts day after day to keep the hospital running.”

Ann Gaebler, an RN with 40 years in the neonatal intensive care unit, said, “Nursing is a tough profession. It demands the ability to understand and retain complex medical knowledge, an ability to stay calm when things get difficult, a compassionate nature and emotional resilience. It takes time to master the nursing profession and it takes mentorship from experienced nurses to get there.”