Nurses still waiting for CPMC to fully embrace San Francisco

City and CPMC announced the hospital deal with week.
Mike Koozmin/SF Newspaper Co.

Labor and community activists cheered this week's news of a much-improved deal between the city and California Pacific Medical Center to build two new hospitals in San Francisco, and there are hopeful signs that frosty local relations with this sometimes-stubborn corporate behemoth may improve. But they also say they are withholding full support for the deal until CPMC reaches a contract agreement with the California Nurses Association.

CPMC and its parent, Sutter Health, have had a nasty running battle with CNA over the six years since their last contract expired that has included strikes, lockouts, lawsuits, harsh union-busting tactics, and the pooling of bad blood on both sides. But CPMC announced a labor agreement with its other major union, National Union of Healthcare Workers, on the day after the hospital deal was announced and there are signs that a deal with CNA could also be imminent.

“We've made some progress and we have the makings of a settlement on the table, but we're not there yet. Yet now is the time,” Fernando Losada, CNA's collective bargaining director for California.

It was CNA and other labor groups that effectively partnered with community organizations and progressive members of the Board of Supervisors last year to kill the hospital deal that CPMC cut with the Mayor's Office and to force the much-improved agreement that was announced on Tuesday. “It's all about necessity and their being able to implement their plans,” Losada said of CPMC's designs on San Francisco. “Obviously, the full of implementation of their plans were thwarted with the help of some good community organizing.”

And Losada said he expects that labor-community coalition to stand firm on expecting CPMC to reach a fair agreement with the nurses, who are seeking more job security and benefit concessions than CPMC has been willing to make so far.

“The successful community organizing that we played an active role in putting together has had a lot to do with them being more forthcoming at the bargaining table,” Losada said. “We like where this has ended up, particularly on the St. Luke's [Hospital] issue [guaranteeing a larger and more viable new hospital than originally proposed]. But we can't support this wholeheartedly and we won't if our nurses are left out in the cold.”

Gordon Mar of San Franciscans for Healthcare, Housing, Jobs, and Justice, which formed up around the CPMC negotiations with the city, said that most community groups will also insist on CPMC reaching an agreement with CNA before the project moves forward.

“A contract for CNA is the last remaining big issue the coalition would like to see resolved,” Mar, who also works with the labor group Jobs With Justice, told us. “We at Jobs With Justice would not support the deal unless the CNA dispute is resolved.”

Paul Kumar, a consultant with NUHW who represented the coalition during the negotiations between CPMC and the city, as represented mostly by Sups. David Campos, David Chiu, and Mark Farrell, said he was happy to see CPMC reach agreements with the city and NUHW, but that it's too soon to conclude the corporate has turned over a new leaf.

“I think it's premature because relationships take a long time to transform themselves, but there are transformative moments, and it's our duty to make the best of them. This may be one of them,” Kumar told us. “They're obviously now trying to pursue their business interests in alignment with their community instead of without regard to their community, which has characterized their behavior in the past.”

Kumar said the coalition that overcame last year's aggressive and uncompromising effort by CPMC to push through a deal that was bad for the city has learned a lot from that fight and evened out the playing field. “It's up to us to try to build on their breakthrough,” Kumar said.

CPMC spokesperson Dean Fryer was unable to put the Guardian on contact with Sutter officials that our sources say may be responsible for the softening of CPMC's tough negotiating stance in San Francisco, or to offer a comment on the changing dynamics in the company.

He stressed that CPMC has “a lot of interface with various communities in San Francisco” and said the company “does more charity care than anyone in San Francisco.” But he's only been with CPMC for a few months and was unaware of studies last year showing CPMC actually does the least per-capita charity care of any hospital in San Francisco, a major point of controversy that resulted in improved charity care commitments in the latest agreement.

As for the prospects of an agreement with its nurses, “I can't address CNA, that has been ongoing and it's something I can't comment on.”

NUHW – which represents medical technicians, administrative staff, and hospital workers other than nurses and doctors – announced that it reached a deal with CPMC at 12:30am on Tuesday that includes no labor concessions, retroactive wage increases, job security provisions, fully employer-paid health coverage, an improved pension, and maintenance of retiree health coverage.

Losada said he was happy to see the CPMC agreement with the city include strong local hiring requirements for construction workers, a predominantly male workforce, and now it's time for CPMC to do right by its nurses, “an overwhelmingly female workforce.”

“As it stands, they have no protections and no guarantees they'll be hired in the new facilities,” he said, noting how frustrating it's been to get any assurances from CPMC as it has pursued this hospital deal over many years. “It's always been about issues of job security, and affordable health care, ironically.”


doomed to retain some of the less able staff that history has bestowed upon them. Surely we want a new hospital to have better staff?

Let's do the deal with or without their support.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

Who are you to opine on nursing competence?

Posted by marcos on Mar. 08, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

And I trust the managers of the new facility to make that decision better than a politican or activist or union rep.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 08, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

you are a mgr of the new hospital or a rep or an interested party. Why don't you lay out your conflict of interest instead of BS'ing us all here.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:24 pm
Posted by anon on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 5:50 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... wow, so the NURSES want fairness, help, consideration and the "right thing" from city hall, CPMC and the supervisors that helped piece this togther.

Well, I say take a NUMBER just like ANOTHER ARTICLE on TRANSPARENCY, SUNSHINE and ACCOUNTABILITY ... what a WONDERFUL FARCE. What do I mean ... shall we look at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE ( google my name to read all the articles on the CITY"S SHILL and how they are ineffective ... did the BOS CLOSE THEM DOWN for over 6 months ... were the VICTIMS to die in the NUCLEAR WINTER ? )

Yes. it is a WONDERFUL ILLUSION like JUSTICE. the RULE OF LAW and HUMANITY. Shall I speak to you about when I sunshined the Department of Public Health over who ACCREDITS them for patient/medical care and DPH could NOT provide the CORRECT information and the SUNSHINE TASK Force informed me that they COULD NOT make DPH produce something it did not HAVE? Imagine DPH does NOT know who accredits them for patient/medical care. Why, so they can be protected by illusion as was the BOY SCOUTS during the BOY SCOUTS LAWBREAKING ACTIVITY by the POLICE, COURTS, OFFICIALS, etc. Don't believe me ... look at this youtube video regarding a FALSE (CRIMINAL FRAUD) restraining order that DPH claimed in order to deny me access and accommodation, medical treatment, followup, etc on 8/15/2012 and then watch me go to the LAPDOGS (Sheriff) who tell me to go BACK to the LAWBREAKERS (DPH) and on 12/19/2012 they (DPH) break the LAW again .

Yes, if you look at the youtube videos ... you see the TREATMENT by the DA, the failing SFPD and my continuing AGAINST all odds ... just like I did when DPH broke FEDERAL LAW in 2001, had my case thrown out of FEDERAL COURT (C02-3485PJH) with TESTILYING and FRAUD in 2003 and in 2007 signed a settlement/confession with the OFFICE of INSPECTOR GENERAL admitting fault and guilt YET leaving their INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD. Note it has started again ... since I still have NOT gotten an answer form either the SHERIFF nor SFPD as to who enforces and arrest for MEDICAL LAW VIOLATION as I have been demonstrating in the youtube videos. HERE is your TRANSPARENCY and NOTE the RESULTS ... sort of like the RESULTS for the four supervisors found GUILTY of OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT by the SUNSHINE TASK FORCE (Ministry of SUNSHINE) in case # 11048 for an ORDER in 2011.

Shall I show you what I got from David Chui's office regarding CIVIL GIDEON with their false and ineffective deadend lead to the SF BAR ASSOCIATION who after looking at the YOUTUBE videos told me that there was NO LAWYER who could help. Yes, the ILLUSION is GREAT, the deceit and inhumanity rival it but MOST of ALL ... the ENTIRE PROCESS is RIGGED and the INTELLIGENCE FIXED to give the appearance of correctness. Shall I tell you about the SUNSHINE to DPH in which I was denied my medial records with their false claim of HIPPA and their expert and city attorney advise that I was incorrect only to back down YET not be accountable in front of SUNSHINE ??? I have those records also inclusive of me following up with SUNSHINE to correct and being LEFT for DEAD ... why not? They (SUNSHINE) got the incorrect information ... based the incorrect decision upon it and when I tried to correct again was denied so that the "picture and framing" could be represented as help when it was the EXACT OPPOSITE and cover for DPH. This is the SHILL action by the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE to tire, vex, and annoy so that you will give up and go away.

Yes, the TRANSPARENCY proves FRAUD, DECEIT and NO incentive to change since as I stated ... what is NOT can be represented as what is and WHAT is can be represented as they ( the risk managers ) interpret and spin the TRUTH. Remember the WEAPONS of MASS DESTRUCTION that lead to WAR yet no consequence for the FRAUDSTERS ...

For more TRANSPARENCY on how the city works ... go to or go to youtube and type in Jason Garza.

Keep drinking the KOOL AID, ENJOY and KNOW you are NEXT. Here's a good example ... DPH BREAKS THE LAW with BOGUS STAYAWAY ORDER and the SFPD WILL NOT TAKE a police report/incident report in order to arrest and hold liable and accountable and THEN has the NERVE to ask me if there is SOMETHING WRONG with me ... how much more can I be transparent regarding the FAILED/RIGGED methodology?

So do you think the NURSES will get RESPECT, HUMANITY, CONSIDERATION ... look at what the CITY that CAN DOES ...

Note: I am still awaiting HELP from David Chui's Offixe over the failure of his CIVIL GIDEON, the Sheriff over the CUP of POISON (go back to DPH for civility) and the SFPD to arrest the LAWBREAKERS yet, I do NOT have the MEDIA behind me as they supposedly are for the NURSES ... WHY? Maybe the videos and documentation WOULD PUT an END to the ILLUSION and FALSE HOPE ... go to youtube ... type in Jason Garza.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Mar. 10, 2013 @ 7:32 am

Funny how their greed is never tied to rising health care costs and the exhorbitant premium increases middle-class Californians are hit with every day. Pure greed. Any journalists left in California?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2013 @ 9:18 am

All Profits to the Capitalists!

Posted by marcos on Mar. 10, 2013 @ 9:42 am

The naïveté - middle-class folks hoping for affordable health care for their families. Ha - not if nurses have anything to do about it...Oh, I forgot - like our overpaid police and fire, they're our "heroes."

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2013 @ 11:51 am

Is pro - illegal immigration, it's fine when other peoples wages are driven down.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 10, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

If you think nurses salaries are why healthcare costs are high, then it just proves your either one uninformed tool of rightwing corporate interests (and thus align yourself with them due to your naivety) or you're one of those corporate interests.

Either way - it sucks to be you.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

fool. They deserve every penny they get. The high hospital costs are that way because the CEOs and execs at the top of these hospital corporations make obscene salaries - those are the ones you'd be targeting IF YOU WERE REALLY INTERESTED IN COSTS - buy you aint.

You're just a corporate kissass because you're probably one of those hospital execs or have some close tie to one.

Thank you nurses - I'm with you all the way (and have no tie to any of them).

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

excellent comment by adding that insurance company profits and drug company profits also inflate hospital and healthcare costs.

The common theme from the misinformed and disingenuous commenters here is profits over people so, of course, they will blame productive workers for economic problems caused by profit seekers parasitically sucking money from the healthcare (and other) industries.

Down with stupidity!!!

Power to the thoughtful!!!

Posted by San Francisco Anti-Stupidity Campaign on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

And that is determined by the marketplace, and not by you.

Posted by anon on Mar. 13, 2013 @ 5:51 am

because more heads in beds (public hospitals) = more $ to them. Same theme - nurses don't give a damn about anyone but themselves - who cares if other wages are driven down and societal costs are driven up. This is fine (greed is good?) I guess but they're painted as community heroes which is laughable. They're good at digging up old housekeepers though...

Posted by Guest on Mar. 10, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

...but yes, to the goofy left, union's are good for keeping wages from being driven down, while illegal immigration is good for driving down wages.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 10, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

if you think the CNA's stance on illegal immigrants matters one way or the other. The ones that made sure illegal immigration would always exist were the ones who really benefitted from it and still do - big corporations and big agriculture.

What better way to drive down labor costs? The slaveowners in the 1700s and 1800s wanted slaves for the same reason - to have as low labor costs as possible. The rightwing corporate interests wanted NAFTA for the same reason - to lower labor costs, and thus increase corporate profits as much as possible.

They've always been the opinion-setters in the mainstream media so it's time you drop this BS of hitting the nurses when they don't own the media, they don't run the corporations and never have.

If they've advocated for illegal immigrants it's so they can't be abused by these corporate rightwing forces who only want them so they can keep from paying them what legals gets.

You're a fraud and anyone who believes your BS is either stupid or uninformed. People don't believe this fool. And for the record, I have no tie to the nurses. I just hate to see idiotic rightwing corporate BULLSHIT go unchallenged

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

with their opinions as fact.

They call people stupid, then those people have no choice but to agree with them so that they too can be self identified smart.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 12, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

values is ridiculous. This conflation is a big part of what's led to the destruction of the middle class in this country. Labor is only interested in protecting its own membership and increasing its political influence. Exactly the same as big business - which is only interested in profits and increasing its political power. Ditto for "community organizations" which represent narrow special interests and not "the community."

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 10, 2013 @ 9:17 pm
Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

anyone working in the public sector is effectively supported by the rest of us. So their costs are too high, the entire economy suffers.

Congress may now finally be slowly wakening up to that.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

is not "middle class." Ed Reiskin is not "middle class." Joanna Hayes-White is not "middle class."

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 3:38 pm
Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

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Posted by on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 3:12 am

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Posted by James on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 2:07 am