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Majority of Palomar Medical Center Nurses Approve Strike Vote

Majority of Palomar Medical Center Nurses Approve Strike Vote

The California Nurses Association said a strong majority of nurses at Escondido’s Palomar Medical Center voted to stage a one-day strike, but wouldn’t give a date.

CNA officials said 86 percent of the nurses who voted in a secret ballot election May 21-22 approved their intent to strike. The CNA refused to give the exact number of voting nurses.

Ted Cahill, a union organizer, said May 23 the nurses are in the process of deciding when to issue the mandatory 10-day notice to hospital officials.

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This gives health officials time to prepare alternative staffing.

Cahill wouldn’t say when a decision will be announced, but added it’s up to the hospital to prevent the measure.

“If the hospital fails to approach nurses and CNA with a genuine offer, there will be a strike,” he said.

District officials learned about the intent to vote May 13 after union organizers and nurses failed again to come to an agreement over how many of the district’s nurses are eligible to be part of a “collective bargaining unit.”

CNA said it wants 203 nurses included on a list of 444 eligible nurses to vote, charging the district unfairly excludes hundreds of nurses.

The district said it considers the 203 nurses “supervisors.” But CNA said the district and union officials agreed in 1995 when an attempt by Palomar Pomerado nurses to unionize failed that these nurses were allowed to vote.

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