Concord nurses to hold one-day strike for fair contracts

Concord nurses to hold one-day strike for fair contracts

Concord nurses to hold one-day strike for fair contracts
Photo courtesy National Nurses Assoc.

CONCORD, CA (May 2, 2023) — Registered nurses (RNs) at John Muir Behavioral Health Center in Concord will hold a one-day strike on May 3. The action comes in response to the hospital management’s refusal to address demands for fair contracts.

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) announced the protest last week. The notice follows an April 13 strike authorization vote by the Concord nurses. They want to see stronger contract measures to improve recruitment and retention.

“John Muir has plenty of resources to provide quality care at its Behavioral Health Center. But is failing to uphold its moral duty to nurses, patients, and our community,” Amy Welsh-Ross, a RN in the chemical dependency unit at BHC, where nurses are in negotiations for their first collective bargaining agreement. “Their understaffing is resulting in unsafe assignments, new nurses working without proper support or training, and experienced nurses regularly leaving for better benefits and conditions elsewhere.”

  • Who: 78 registered nurses at John Muir Behavioral Health Center
  • What: Strike for fair contracts
  • When: Wednesday, May 3, 7 a.m. to Thursday, May 4, 6:59 a.m.
  • Where: John Muir Behavioral Health Center | 2740 Grant St, Concord, CA 94520

John Muir Behavioral Health Center (JMBHC) nurses voted to join CNA in February 2021. Since the summer of 2021, they have been in negotiations with JMBHC management, with little to no movement on key issues.

Improvements urged

The RNs urge JMBHC management to invest in nursing staff and agree to a contract that ensures better recruitment and retention.

They want improved patient safety and stronger staffing measures, including education and training when nurses care for patients in adjacent specialty units (“floating”). They also want competitive benefits with other hospitals in the Bay Area.

“We continue to see an increase in our community’s need for behavioral health services for both adults and children,” Megan LaCorte, a RN in the adult behavioral health unit. “We need John Muir to staff up and come ready to settle a contract that will help us retain good nurses who can be strong patient advocates.”

California Nurses Association represents 78 nurses at JMBHC. Nurses have given advance notice to the hospital, following a near-unanimous strike authorization vote. On January 24, JMBHC nurses held an informational picket to raise awareness of chronic staffing issues.