Uploaded: Monday, June 26, 2000 2:30 PM

Nurses, hospitals at an impasse

Stanford hospital nurses took their labor dispute to the streets of Palo Alto today, carrying picket signs on a two-mile march after talks with negotiators ended Friday with no new sessions scheduled.

Kim Griffin, spokeswoman for the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement, said this morning that the union is ready to resume talks if the hospitals are willing, but she didn't sound optimistic.

Griffin said the union was told that "there will be no more money offered" beyond the 8 percent in pay raises the hospitals have offered over two years. CRONA is asking for 17.5 percent pay raises over two years.

The 8 percent offer is unacceptable to the union, Griffin said. "Our nurses want cost-of-living (increases) plus a raise," she said.

Hospital spokesman Ben Drew said this morning that "Stanford and Packard (hospitals) are looking forward to resuming the talks."

The union's 1,730 nurses went on strike June 7. Contract negotiations with a federal mediator resumed June 16, and sessions were held every day last week.

The two sides are negotiating salary levels, health benefits, staffing and other issues.

Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's hospitals have hired some 500 replacement nurses, who are working alongside nurses managers.

This morning, about 200 nurses marched from the old Hoover Pavilion to St. Albert the Great Catholic Church on Channing Avenue.

--Don Kazak