5,000 Stanford nurses and families could lose health insurance in planned strike

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) — After months of fruitless contract negotiations, 5,000 nurses at Stanford Health Care have said they will go on strike starting April 25.

Colleen Borges is one such nurse and the president of CRONA, the nurses’ union.

She says, among other things, that she and her colleagues are asking for a salary increase and an increase in staff.

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“You are world-renowned institutions. You have to be able to make our working environments make people want to come here and people feel supported because they’re here,” Borges said.

On Saturday, Stanford released a statement to ABC7 News regarding the nurses’ decision.

It reads, in part:

“While we respect the rights of our nurses to engage in this labor action, we are disappointed that the union has chosen to strike. We are proud of our nurses and have offered highly competitive contract terms, including market-leading compensation and proposals that further our commitment to improving nurse staffing and wellness.

In response to the strike, Stanford also announced that it would suspend certain benefits for those who choose to participate.

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A separate statement to ABC7 News reads in part:

“We have informed the union that nurses who choose to strike will not be paid for the shifts they miss. In addition, employer-paid health benefits will cease on May 1 for nurses who go on strike. on strike and remain absent until the end of the month in which the strike begins.

Although Stanford says the move is standard practice – and that employees will be able to extend their coverage through COBRA – it has infuriated the nursing union.

An online solidarity petition has more than 15,000 signatures.

“I don’t know if they were using it as a tactic to scare the nurses. Saying, listen, you get out, those are the repercussions. But it’s not. It backfired. The nurses are angrier than before,” Borges said.

And while both sides say they are ready to sit down at the negotiating table again, for now it seems a strike is all but inevitable.

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