Santa Clara County Nurses Announce Three-Day Strike Beginning April 2

Santa Clara County nurses are planning a three-day strike between April 2 and April 4, claiming the county’s failure to bargain in good faith over working conditions and safety issues and staffing ratios in the Santa Clara County health system.

In February an overwhelming 97% majority of Registered Nurses Professional Association (RNPA) voting members supported authorizing an unfair practice strike.

More than 3,750 nurses in the Santa Clara County Health and Hospital System – represented by the Registered Nurses Professional Association – are currently in contract negotiations with the county. Their last contract expired five months ago, on Oct.29.

In their negotiations nurses said they called out issues such as short staffing and below-standard nurse-to-patient ratios. Nurses also claimed there has been an  increase in workplace violence, along with troubling rates of nurses dealing with mental health concerns, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic.

These issues, along with pay and benefit packages that are out of step with the local market, make it difficult for Santa Clara County to recruit and retain nurses. Nurses in-turn have trouble affording to live in the communities they serve.

County nurses negotiated for months in hopes of avoiding a strike, but said that the county has:

  • Failed to make sufficient investments in resources to keep nurses, other health care professionals, and patients safe;
  • Ignored unsafe staffing ratios, which lead to dangerous conditions for patients and nurses;
  • Not followed through on its agreement to enforce staffing standards, resulting in unlawful unilateral action by the county;
  • Refused to offer pay and benefit improvements that close the wide gap in compensation between county nurses and nurses at local private hospitals or in neighboring counties, despite recently giving salary increases to county leaders.



Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.

One Comment

  1. I would have thought that one of their demands would be to remove the absurd masks they have to wear when not socializing in the coffee room.

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