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Bay Area nurses picketing after going on strike

Associated Press Modified: November 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm •  Published: November 20, 2012

"Teachers, firefighters and others are making concessions. We have a very, very healthy contract out there," she said.

As in past strikes by the CNA, union leaders and hospital executives also disagreed on the number of nurses who either took part in the strike, or the number of nurses crossing over the picket lines.

Idelson said there was "very high level of participation despite the rain," while Kemp said that 80 percent of the nurses showed up for work at the Summit campus.

The hospitals have hired replacements on five-day contracts during the strike, another sticking issue between the two sides.

Because of the contracts, hospital officials say the striking nurses won't be allowed to return to work until Sunday.

Tuesday's strike adds to a growing list of recent strikes in Northern California, including one that began Monday night by custodial and maintenance workers at Oakland International Airport and at the Port of Oakland.

Earlier this month, union workers as West Sacramento-based grocery chain Raley's walked off the job — the first strike in the company's 77-year-history — and nurses at Sonoma County's Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital walked off the job for three days — the second strike in a month, and only the second strike at the hospital since 1986.