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Nurses picket in second day of Santa Rosa strike

Associated Press Modified: November 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm •  Published: November 4, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nurses at Sonoma County's Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital walked picket lines on Sunday in the second day of a planned three-day strike protesting wage offers and other issues.

Most of the nearly 660 nurses represented by the Staff Nurses' Association walked off the job early Saturday, union president Sue Gadbois said.

Union representatives and hospital officials continue to disagree over a number of issues, including pay and staffing levels. The issue of compensation could have "a very negative impact on the hospital's ability to retain and attract nurses," she said.

Hospital officials have noted that they are run by the nonprofit group, St. Joseph Health-Sonoma County, and that the hospital doesn't post profits or reward shareholders. Costs must be controlled because of tighter operating margins and anticipated reductions in government health care reimbursements, officials said.

"The hospital has engaged and continues to engage in good faith bargaining with our registered nurses," hospital spokesman Debra Miller said. "We anticipate reimbursement rates going down, and we have asked our nurses to share in some of the cost savings."

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