Two-day CNA strike puts Seton Medical Center patient care, hospital financial recovery at risk

Two-day CNA strike puts Seton Medical Center patient care, hospital financial recovery at risk

in Community

Members of the California Nurses Association began a two-day strike today at AHMC Seton Medical Center over what the union described as unmet demands in contract negotiations, prompting concerns about patient care and also about the hospital’s long-term financial recovery.

The CNA called for registered nurses to picket in front of the hospital at 1900 Sullivan Ave. in Daly City from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each day, and to hold a rally Wednesday at 3 p.m. Nurses held a one-day strike in March.

AHMC said the CNA leadership is making unreasonable demands at the same time that AHMC is in the midst of a plan to rescue the Daly City hospital from financial unviability. AHMC purchased Seton Medical Center in 2020 while its previous owners were in bankruptcy. Since the purchase, AHMC said it has invested more than $100 million in repairs and upgrades, launched a $60 million seismic retrofit of the hospital and hired 189 new staff members, including 75 nurses, amid a national nurse shortage.

This week’s strike may require the hospital to transfer patients, postpone elective surgeries and add expenses that would hamper its ongoing plan to make the hospital financially viable, according to AHMC, noting that full-time nurses on strike make on average $146,000 in wages and benefits.

“It is my job to ensure that Seton Medical Center provide high quality, efficient and accessible care while making sure that we are fiscally responsible,” said Sarkis Vartanian, Seton Medical Center Administrator. “We have a strong plan that we are on our way to achieve, but we simply cannot agree to what CNA leadership is proposing.”

CNA leadership said it called for the strike alleging AHMC’s “failure to address critical and persistent patient care issues, chronic supply problems, the shuttering of vital services, and the failure of management to consistently attend scheduled bargaining sessions.”

AHMC and CNA have been in contract negotiations since December last year. Michelle Kubota, a veteran registered nurse in the medical surgical unit, alleged in a CNA statement that nurses lack “proper supplies” and “appropriate staffing.”

“The management at our hospital is failing our patients by failing to value and respect the nurses,” Kubota said.

Disclaimer: Adam Alberti, the publisher of Climate Magazine, is Managing Director at Singer Associates, Inc. Seton Medical Center is represented by Singer Associates.