Town Square

No resolution yet in dispute between nurses, Stanford hospitals

Original post made on Apr 25, 2013

An ongoing contract dispute between Stanford Hospitals & Clinics and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the roughly 2700 nurses who work at both hospitals is intensifying, with the nurses operating under a contract that expired on March 31 and the last day of negotiations quickly approaching.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 25, 2013, 9:53 AM


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Posted by Here we go again
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:09 am

Lets all feel sorry for the nurses. Most of the nurses at Stanford earn $60 to $80 dollars an hour depending on how long they have been there. My daughter is one of them so I think that's fantastic. Unfortunetely she will again be subject to her union threantening to strike when they make more money than most every other job in the area. Lets keep this in perspective as it moves forward. This is the every other or every third year drama over nothing. They will end up getting decent raises to add to their awesome salaries.

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Posted by @ Here we go again
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hey Here we go again:

It occurs to me that the reason the nurses have the high salaries is exactly becasue they are represented by a union. Without the drama every other year, they would not be able to afford to live in the valley, and where would that leave us, the people who go to these hospitals and clinics?

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Posted by Don't Forget
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

A reminder is needed here: nurses in hospitals often work revolving shifts, hard to adjust to, hard on family. Problematic for childcare! Their work is high-risk, to themselves and their patients, and requires a lot of exactitude. That in itself requires a lot of education and certification. The credentialing process is extremely expensive.

Then, the nurses get all the criticism, including blame for a doctor's shortcomings. They have to address the doctors as Dr So-and-So, but the doctors call the nurses by their first name!

Don't forget that most nurses seldom work a mere 8 or 9 hour day.

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Posted by For Don't Forget
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

And let's don't forget that nurses typically don't work a 5 day week, and last I checked, they get overtime.

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Posted by Truth
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

And remember nurses at Stanford make $100,000+ for a 3 day work week. Cry me a river CRONA hope Stanford offers to CUT salaries. Joke.

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Posted by 200K-Is-Too-Much-To-Pay-A-Nurse
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

> And remember nurses at Stanford make $100,000+
> for a 3 day work week

It's a shame that Stanford doesn't release this sort of information each time the CRONA nurses claim that they are underpaid, and overworked.

Web Link

The price per hospital admission rose an average of 5.1 percent, hitting $14,662. Surgical admissions had the highest overall price tag, at an average of $27,100, representing a 6.4 percent increase from 2010.

Medical care, in general, has been increasing in cost at a rate that seems to be about twice the rate of inflation. There are many reasons--but labor costs are a well-known reason for every price increase.

Anyone know what the average per-day stay in the Stanford Hospital might be? It would be interesting to see the breakdown of those costs--to see just how much the nursing labor costs might be.

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Posted by Jake
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2013 at 11:34 am

Does anyone questioning how hard or not nurses work or how many days they work, actually worked as an RN? A lot of them work 12 hour shifts, on their feet responsible for several patients, etc. it's not easy work and the nurses have a critical role in patient outcome and recovery.
I suggest anyone who thinks its such an easy career to consider learning a bit more about it before you make assumptions as to how easy it is.

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Posted by Response
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Jake: I do and trust me, I fly in from Texas, work 6 x 16 hr shifts in a row get paid $15,000 and fly home, not at Stanford but an area hospital. I think people at Safeway honestly work harder than I do, despite the hours. I milk the overtime, plus penalty for starting shift early. The union create these environments and they are really cash cows. Do a survey how many RNs live out of state and fly in to work. You'd be shocked. But your an RN and know this right?

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Posted by Jake
a resident of another community
on Apr 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm

"Response" first I am not a nurse and I do not and have never worked at Stanford. If a nurse or anybody chooses to live outside the area for their choice in lifestyle or home situation what does it matter? I'm sure the vast majority of the Stanford employees live in the Bay Area or close to it. I know it's much cheaper to live in many places outside the state of CA. I find it somewhat shocking how easily you self profess your "milking" it and taking advantage of the system in your view. Also how you brag about how easy the work is. That is more revealing of ones work ethics and morals than it is about what you say unions have created. Just because you chose to commute from out of state and milk the benefits and not work very hard doesn't mean the rest of the nurses are. So the ones trying to live and work in the area, afford a local real estate market and cost of living should be cast under the same blanket of doubt as out of state commuters openly taking advantage of prevailing wages here? Rules, regulations, policies, etc can't possibly account for every possibility. There will always be the people looking for loopholes to personally benefit themselves at any cost, even if it hurts those trying to provide for their families and working hard.

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Posted by mmmmMom
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 30, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Ever notice that physicians do not have to consider a strike? Yeah, there is a reason for that.

I get sooooooooo sick of people who do NOT know what they are talking about complaining about Nurses' salaries. And with out fail, someone like "Here we go again" just has to pretend that the highest possible salary is being made by absolutely everyone. Far from it!

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by WOW!
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm

As a member of law enforcement, I can probably speak for my brothers and sisters in uniform when I say that I sure would like to be making over $90,000 a year, without differentials or overtime. And that is the lowest paid nurse working three 12 hour shifts. Before anyone jumps all over me, all you have to do is look at the union's website home page and you can see of draft of the contract from the last negotiations. That is right a draft, because the union has been making sure the contract language is right for the past 2 years.
I am sorry but I realize that nurses do great work, are the backbone of the hospital, etc., but why do these Stanford nurses think that they should get raises, have their benefits fully paid for, etc., when the rest of the country has had to make consessions. Is there some sort of immunity to the economic times that Stanford nurses are immune to? If they are sign me up! After all, I have not had a raise in 6 years and am now paying most of my benefits because my brothers, sisters and I would rather that then see anyone get laid off.
This is the same song and dance this union pulls every contract. We need more money, more money, more money. Take a look around you, all kinds of people aren't getting raises and having to pay into their benefits. I, for one, hopes the hospital stands it's ground and brings these nurses into reality!

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Posted by CRONANurse
a resident of College Terrace
on May 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm


As a member of the law enforcement community first off thank you for your service. However, its amusing to see you call out our contract issues and complain about your compensation. One only has to look at the generous pay, medical, and retirement PAPD officers enjoy to see that we are very similar

Web Link
Web Link

Do I begrudge them any of it? Not at all, and am glad that those in a position to directly keep us safe or save lives are compensated (but could be better for both of us) However, I wonder how a law enforcement officer could find someone guilty without examining what exactly our issues are with this contract. Seems one sided to say the least.

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Posted by LPCHRN
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 8, 2013 at 11:59 pm

First off, all of you commenting on our salaries, you really should be more informed. The average nurse at Stanford and LPCH are not making 100k/year as their base salary. Stanford advertises that we are the best of the best yet we are compensated 4 to 10% below competing hospitals in the area. The hospital administrators have been given huge raises which take their salaries into the hundreds of thousands/year and some even over a million dollars/year. The reason nursing is one of the largest cost is not because of individual earnings, but because nursing is the largest population in the hospital. This is to provide safe, educated, concerned care for our patients.

Pay is not the only disputed area of the contract, and I would venture to say it's not even the number one problem. The hospital has cut medical benefits. I've heard the people above and elsewhere comment as to why we should have good medical coverage. Think about it, we work in a hospital, around sick people, around immunocompromised patients. We need to be able to take care of our health because we are exposed to some pretty nasty stuff in the hospital, and anything we are exposed to exposes the sickest patients to as well. This is not your normal 9 to 5 job. Also, this "cushy" job often has us on our feet for 12+ hours, frequently without eating, often with minimal time to even go to the bathroom, short staffed, and without needed resources.

Which brings me to my next bone of contention, the sick policy. Working in a high risk environment, around highly susceptible patients, we can not even call in sick when we are sick. Many nurses have been forced to come to work when they are ill which puts our patients at risk, as well as making the nurse even more sick, and exposing their co-workers to whatever it is that they have. I bet most of you out there don't get written up for calling in sick despite the fact that your employer says they don't want you coming to work when you are sick.

These are just a few of the issues that the hospital administrators refuse to budge. Remember, they are generously compensated, they have great medical coverage, and they are not susceptible to the sick policy. Oh yeah, and the hospital had over $3M in profit, yet they can't afford to take even a portion of that for their employees.

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Posted by Stephellon Deves
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 5, 2013 at 4:17 am

Shame on Stanford for the treatment of African Americans. Shame on their secret strategy to hire all Indians in their technology department. Shame on Stanford for the firing of African Americans, the Harassment, and the mistreatment of the few African Americans that worked in the Epic technology department. Shame on Stanford for hiring 50 plus Indian resources as a part of its scheme. Shame on the Indian Senior Vice President in the Technology Department who has less than 3 years of hospital experience. Shame for hiring all the Indian Leadership. Shame for yelling at African American Directors. Shame on you Stanford technology department for Epic support in focusing only on hiring Indians. See your story on CNN along with the EEOC of Northern Califorinia