SAN DIEGO (CNS) - As the union representing Sharp Healthcare nurses prepares to strike Monday, hospital officials announced that they will be prepared with replacements, and will welcome nurses who don't strike.
"Many nurses have expressed appreciation for the generous wage increases Sharp has offered, and they are showing their commitment by planning not to honor the strike and be at work on Monday," Dan Gross, Sharp Healthcare's executive vice president, said Friday night. "For these nurses, patients come first."
Friday's daylong negotiation session failed to reach an agreement and union officials declined Sharp's offer to continue negotiating through the weekend.
"Sharp has not addressed in a meaningful way any of the nurses' core issues," said Jeff Rogers, a communications specialist for the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care professionals, which represents the nurses.
"This failure only escalates the nurse recruitment and retention crisis. At this time, negotiations have stalled and the nurses are prepared to conduct our announced strike."
Dan Gross, Sharp executive vice president, said his organization was "extremely disappointed that the union took this position."
"Clearly, the union's desire for a closed shop and the money it would net outweighs their commitment to assuring the nurses they represent do not experience the economic loss that accompanies a strike and the potential impact a strike can have on their patients and the community," Gross said.
Sharp executives said they have contracted with a firm to provide trained nurses during any walkout.
The Sharp Professional Nurses Network would have called off the strike if Sharp had agreed to a counteroffer in which new nurses would be required to pay union dues and those who did not would be fired, Rogers said.
According to a company statement, Sharp remains "committed to individual choice for its nurses when it comes to paying dues."
The nurses intend to return to work Thursday.
The union delivered the required 10-day notice to the hospital chain's management on Nov. 17, a week after 98 percent of around 2,200 Sharp nurses who cast ballots rejected the company's latest bargaining offer.
One core issue listed by the union is pay, which union officials say is not in line with other large San Diego health care companies.
A second core issue is how to deal with cancellations when a nurse reports for his or her regularly-scheduled shift and is sent home.
Other issues include union representatives having access to the nurses in the hospitals and requiring employees to join the union.
Sharp officials said they had "offered numerous concessions and enhancements to previous proposals," which included changes in compensation and union representative access to hospitals.
Sharp previously offered to hike base pay by 16 to 26 percent over a three-year period, with nearly half implemented in the first year, according to the company.
However, union President Christina Magnusen said that was not entirely accurate.
"Only a quarter of the nurses could get that raise, at most," Magnusen said. "It's subject to management favoritism.
"Some nurses could actually see pay cuts under that proposal and raises gained one year could be taken away the next. Clearly, it's not going to recruit and retain strong nurses."
According to Sharp, a report from the California Hospital Association found that the chain's 2015 full- and part-time nursing turnover rate was 8.4 percent, the lowest in San Diego County -- and this year's numbers were about the same.
Several dogs are in the custody of San Diego County, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.
Chilly temperatures and scattered showers started the weekend. Temperatures at the coast and inland communities hovered around 60 degrees with some areas of San Diego County receiving rain during the morning hours.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.