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    A False Allegations by CNA Union Designed to Cover Negotiation Failures

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Kevin McCormack, Media Relations Manager
    (415) 600-7484 or pager (415) 232-6463
    mccormkd@sutterhealth.org

    San Francisco, CA, September 27, 2010

    California Nurses Association Suffers Big Defeat

    NLRB rules in CPMC’s favor; agrees CNA stalled negotiations

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handed the California Nurses Association (CNA) a huge setback after ruling that California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) acted appropriately when it implemented a new health care plan for all its employees, including CNA represented nurses.

    In his decision, Judge Gerald A. Wacknov of the NLRB ruled that CPMC had “advanced its candid, consistent and reasonable position throughout negotiations” and therefore he ruled “The complaint is dismissed in its entirety.”

    “We are very pleased with the ruling,” says Warren Browner, MD, MPH, CEO of CPMC. “The NLRB agreed that after two years of contract negotiations and months of stalling tactics by CNA, CPMC was justified in declaring that we had reached a bargaining impasse and implemented a new health plan for our employees.

    The issue centered on contract talks with CNA that began in 2007. CPMC offered a proposal that would have given the average full-time nurse an annual salary of $140,000, with free health care benefits for them and their families. As part of that deal the hospital wanted to introduce a new health plan for all its employees, including both union and non-union nurses. The health plan offered almost identical benefits to members but, because it was a self-insured plan, would also save valuable health-care dollars for members and the hospital.

    Instead of sitting down and negotiating on the proposal CNA stalled, cancelled several bargaining sessions and adopted disruptive tactics in the meetings they did attend. After more than two years of talks, months of delaying tactics, and with no agreement in sight, CPMC decided that the talks had reached an impasse, and moved forward to implement the policy.

    CNA argued that the talks were not at an impasse but Judge Wacknov dismissed those claims, ruling that CPMC “did give the Union timely notice, did offer to bargain, and did thereafter bargain extensively with the Union prior to implementing its healthcare proposal.” The judge also dismissed CNA’s allegations of bad faith bargaining saying “there is no showing that the Respondent (CPMC) either then or now, was avoiding its bargaining responsibilities.”

    This is just the latest in a series of setbacks for CNA where claims, when judged by independent third parties, were shown to be false and without merit.

    “We are glad this issue is behind us so that we can move forward,” says Browner. “We hope the union will realize it is in everyone’s best interest to return to the bargaining table and reach agreement on a new contract for our nurses. It is important that we remain focused on our common goal of delivering the very best care to our patients. This includes a partnership to build two new, state-of-the-art hospitals at Van Ness and Geary and at our St. Luke’s Campus. Our patients, our nurses and the people of San Francisco deserve no less.”

    California Pacific Medical Center. Beyond Medicine

    At San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center, we believe in the power of medicine. We research the most up-to-date treatments, hire the most qualified individuals and practice the most modern, innovative medicine available. We deliver the highest quality expert care, with kindness and compassion, in acute, post-acute and outpatient services, as well as preventive and complementary medicine. But we also believe that medicine alone is only part of the solution. That’s why we look intently at each individual case and treat the whole person, not just the illness. It’s why we go beyond medical care and provide our patients with things like disease counseling, family support and wellness treatments. As one of California’s latest private, community-based, not-for-profit, teaching medical centers, and a Sutter Health affiliate, we are able to reach deep into our community to provide education, screening and financial support in some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. Medicine can transform a body. Going beyond medicine can transform a life.