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May 25, 2021

The California Nurses Association (“CNA”), which represents our registered nurses at Chinese Hospital, is going forward with its planned strike today starting at 7:30 a.m. until Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 7:29 a.m. CNA has refused to cancel its strike, even though the Hospital has offered the nurses average wage increases of 6.4%.

While the CNA strike is disruptive, the Hospital will remain open and ready to serve the community as it has done every day for over 120 years.

“Our goal has always been to serve our Chinatown community, which has had to endure so much, including horrible physical attacks,” said Hospital CEO Jian Zhang, herself a nurse practitioner. “The CNA strike is just the latest obstacle we face. But Chinese Hospital will never waiver from its mission of being the People’s Hospital.”

As a precaution, the Hospital will have extra security on hand to make sure that patients and employees can safely enter and leave the Hospital. “Patient safety is the most important thing,” said Zhang. “We have prepared for every contingency.”

The Hospital has also quickly addressed the scheduling problems CNA created. In a short-sighted and risky decision, CNA has set the strike to start at 7:30 a.m., which is 30 minutes after the start of the nurses’ day shift. During the first 30 minutes of the day shift, nurses are responsible for talking to the night shift nurses and learning about the patient’s condition during the night. This is called the “hand off” and is critically important to making sure that patients are safe and that the nurses are up to date on any developments in their condition.

Based on the union’s strike notice, the day shift nurses are scheduled to show up to work at 7 a.m. and, after 30 minutes, they are supposed to leave work, leave the patients, and join the picket line. This puts the nurses in a terrible position. The Hospital does not think this is fair to the nurses and has taken steps to have other nurses available to take the “hand off” so that the Hospital’s nurses are not faced with this difficult decision.

The Hospital will always respect and consider the nurses to be an important part of the Chinese Hospital family. “It is sad that the CNA strike causes so much disruption when we know that the nurses and the entire Hospital community care so much for the patients” said Hospital Board Chair Kitman Chan.

“Chinese Hospital is an important part of our community,” Mr. Chan added. “Every time I walk into the Hospital, I see nurses proudly caring for this underserved community. When the CNA strike ends, I know that the nurses will come back where they are needed.”

The negotiations over a contract between CNA and the Hospital began in February of 2020. Soon afterwards, the Covid-19 global pandemic hit, but the parties continued their negotiations. CNA’s proposed wage grid has an average increase of 21%. In addition to the various terms the parties have agreed to, the Hospital has offered:

  • An average increase of 6.4% to our nurses after we reach an agreement, which is an average hourly rate before increased extra pay of $73.87 per hour.
  • Increased extra pay for those who work nights and weekends.
  • Tuition reimbursement of $2,500 per year for 40 hours of classes.

The Hospital is ready, willing and able to continue negotiations with CNA, finalize the collective bargaining agreement, put this strike behind us, and continue to focus on what is important: providing high quality healthcare to the community.

Jenni Lau
[email protected]
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