Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Nurses begin vote on strike

July 25, 2007

Fremont-Rideout Health Group nurses began deciding Tuesday if they would strike over contract negotiations that they said have taken too long.

The possibility of a strike took another step toward reality as union members began voting on whether to give the union the authority to strike. Voting will continue through Thursday.

Before voting started, about 80 nurses and family members rallied and marched outside the Fremont-Rideout administrative office in Yuba City.

During a break from picketing on Plumas Street, the crowd was encouraged by five speakers, including a member of the California Nurses Association board of directors.

“It seems like a terrible, long road,” said Dave Welch. “Hospitals never give it up for free; you have to fight for it.”

In a prepared statement, administrators said picketing was OK legally, but was not helping negotiations.

“We are aware that a small number of our nurses and some supporters exercised their legal right to engage in informational picketing,” according to the written statement, “but negotiations must take place at the table, not in public or in the media.”

Nurses and administration members have been negotiating since November.

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