The National Nurses United union plan a one-day strike of Sutter Health hospitals in the Bay Area and has arranged for a sympathy strike at Kaiser Permanente Hospitals statewide.
Union Director Joe Lindsay says the nurses don't want to lose their free health care or their sick days. He says those are worth between $4,000 and $10,000 a year.
LINDSAY: "Sutter has made proposals that would represent somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 percent of wages and benefits for nurses."
Sutter's Alta Bates campus in Berkeley says it pays RNs $136,000 per year. Lindsay disputes the number, but could not provide an alternative.
Patricia Rodriguez is an area manager for Kaiser. She says hospital staff and contract nurses from Modesto to Sacramento and Roseville to Vacaville will pick up the slack.
RODRIGUEZ: "We have been preparing for weeks now in anticipation knowing that we would have this work stoppage."
Kaiser says it is disappointed the union would ask nurses to disrupt Kaiser patient care over a disagreement with Sutter.