HHMH Receives Notice from Nurses of Intent to Strike

August 11, 2016, Hollister, CA – Following 14 months and 23 negotiation sessions, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital has received notice from their nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association (CNA) of their intent to strike. Their notice states that they will strike on Wednesday, August, 24th beginning at 6:00 a.m. and ending on Thursday, August 25th at 5:59 a.m.

“Unfortunately, even after meeting with a state-appointed mediator, we are at an impasse in the negotiation process,” states Ken Underwood, CEO. “Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital has an excellent nursing staff and we offer a competitive salary and benefits package that allows us to continue to recruit qualified nurses. The average annual salary for a full time RN at Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital is currently $145,288, which is comparable with our neighboring hospitals, including Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, where according to a  2015 Fact-Finding Report the average pay for a Staff Nurse II was $145,000. Based on this report, our RN’s are at or above the 90th percentile of average pay for the RN’s in Northern California.

The Hospital prides itself on establishing and maintaining positive relations with all its five unions and has not had a strike in over 30 years. “We are disappointed by this action and believe a strike is not in anyone’s best interest – our patients, our staff, or our community,” said Mr. Underwood. The hospital has activated a Strike Incident Command Center and initiated a plan to manage the strike, including contracting for experienced temporary nurses through a highly reputable agency, who will work alongside HHMH nurses who choose to continue working during the strike.

The top priority for the Hospital continues to be the delivery of safe, quality care for our patients. The Hospital is well prepared with a comprehensive strike plan, and we will not compromise the quality of our care. There will be no changes in the delivery of our services at any of our locations during the strike.

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital is committed to continuing a respectful and collaborative negotiating process in order to reach a prompt and fair resolution with our nurses, and also one that is fair to the community we serve.

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