home   streets index
email in the streets of sacramento dillingertoons



"How Serious Are They?" read a flyer distributed by Local 250 Union members during contract bargaining at Sutter Roseville Hospital. How serious these hospital employees are was evident by the large turn-out for their strike on November 14th.

The strike was a response to bargaining that ended in failure at 1:30 a.m. earlier the same day. If you're doing the math, that means these guys were in bargaining from 0900 hours Wednesday until 0130 hours on Thursday, then got up at 0530 to start the strike action at 6 a.m. on Thursday.... That is SERIOUS! (Note: as per correct strike protocol, a ten day strike notice had been given after the contract expired @ Nov. 1).


This is how the strike looked to passersby--The sidewalk along the road to the hospital was purple with Local 250 union members holding signs and waving. Response was good from the street-- a lot of honking horns and enthusiastic waves as people drove by. This was definitely an action supported by the community!

Earlier in the day, hundreds of strikers walked up the roadway to the hospital to express their views on the current state of bargaining, but a change of heart by administration was not apparent at this time.


Luisa Cramer and Jacqueline Harper want a contract like employees at other hospitals have. The two have been EVS employees for over a year at Sutter Roseville.

The Union bargaining committee proposals are aimed at reaching the industry standards for wages, benefits and working conditions. Of interest to me, a Mercy Hospital employee, is to learn that we at Mercy are now linked with Kaiser as a hospital with reasonable wages-- For years, WE were at the bottom of the scale in Sacramento, and now, thanks to our Union contract, we are not The Worst anymore. I hope that Sutter Roseville Hospital will not be The Worst for long....

  The strike started at 0600 and ended at 1800 hours, so lunch was important. Here are SEIU Local 250 field reps Mary Hillman and Edna Hollins providing hamburgers, hot dogs, and even Veggie burgers (Yes!) for hungry strikers. Instead of a spatula, Edna is holding a cell phone, the symbol of field reps and Union organizers everywhere.

  And there were plenty of people ready to eat....


Making the turn onto Roseville Parkway, drivers were educated by these informative signs. One purpose of a picket line is to let the community know that one of its institutions (in this case, the hospital) is NOT being a good employer. Correct behavior (and your legal and constitutional right) is to honor the picket line by not crossing it.

When a business is being picketed, additional correct behavior is not to buy what the business is selling. If the business is a hospital, patients are stuck with what their insurance dictates and may need to cross the line to get necessary health care. Still, some of them honked as they went by, and that was appreciated!

As we all know, better patient care is goal #1, and that is more likely to occur in hospitals with competitive wages and safe staffing levels. Someone on the picket line said, "These people driving by may someday be our patients, so they should be concerned by what is going on here!"

back   pg 1 of 2   next