California Nurses Union Defeats Effort to Eliminate Paid Sick Leave

No sick days for California nurses? Luckily, that won’t become a reality any time soon.

Sutter Health, one of the largest and most profitable hospitals chains in the US, attempted to eliminate paid sick days as one of nearly 200 concessions during negotiations over union contracts. After a long fight and nine strikes within the past two years, the California Nurses Association (CAN) defeated the effort.

“The nurses would’ve come to work sick, and the patients’ health would’ve declined,” said California Nurses Association Executive Director.

The union defeated almost all of the concessions in the new contracts. Other concessions included ending health insurance coverage for nurses working under 30 hours per week, as well as reducing the minimum time off between nursing shifts to six hours.

According to the deal, Sutter Health has agreed to retract disciplinary actions against nurses that appear to have been done in retaliation for going on strike. Last July, the healthcare giant was found to have illegally attempted to enact the non-paid sick days rule on certain workers during an investigation by the National Labor Relations Board.