Tuesday , June 18 2024
Affordable Care Act Influences Inland Empire Facilities.001
Affordable Care Act Influences Inland Empire Facilities.001

Nurses strike ends

Nurses at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center returned to work Thursday following a two-day strike regarding wages and working conditions.

Operations were back to normal at the hospital, which is owned and operated by San Bernardino County, said David Wert, county spokesman.

No negotiations are scheduled.

In the meantime, an estimated 1,200 nurses at the Colton healthcare facility will continue to work under the terms of their expired contract, though for how long isn’t clear. The nurses also plan to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to further declare their grievances, said Chuck Idelson, spokesman for the California Nurses Association.

“The board spent $4 million to bring in replacement nurses during the strike, so they certainly have the financial resources to address the issues the nurses are raising,” Idelson said.

Arrowhead Regional nurses say they have not had a pay raise in six years, and that their compensation is 30 to 50 percent lower than what nurses are paid at most private hospitals. That has made it difficult for Arrowhead Regional to keep its nurses, who inevitably seek better pay at other facilities, Idelson said.

But county officials point to surveys done by the non-partisan Hospital Association of Southern California, which found that nurses’ pay at Arrowhead Regional is on par with pay at private hospitals in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Idelson said he hoped negotiations resume soon, but Wert wasn’t confident that will happen, or that more talks would produce anything positive.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Wert said. “Everyone has said what they want to say. Until someone has something new to say, there’s no point in negotiating.”

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