Uploaded: Friday, June 2, 2000 12 PM

Hospitals prepare for nurses' strike

Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital are preparing to use contract agency nurses should their own nurses go on strike Wednesday morning.

The Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement (CRONA), the nurses' union, released a statement today saying it had learned Stanford and Packard hospitals will contract with U.S. Nursing Corp. to provide nurses in the event of a strike.

Hospital spokesman Mike Goodkind confirmed that the hospitals had made contingency plans to use U.S. Nursing Corp. should a strike occur. , "We have contingency plans to keep the hospital(s) functioning at full capacity," Goodkind said. "We regularly use nursing agencies when we require staffing at short notice."

The CRONA statement said the U.S. Nursing Corp. is "a nursing agency specializing in supplying nurses who will cross picket lines." CRONA said that 500 nurses, who will work 12-hour shifts seven days a week, have been contracted to work at the two hospitals. The two hospitals employ about 1,700 nurses.

CRONA voted overwhelming May 26 to issue a strike notice to the hospitals.

The two sides are far apart on salary issues. The hospitals are offering pay raises of 3 percent for each year of a two-year contract.

CRONA is asking for a 14.2 percent pay raise the first year and cost-of-living plus 8 percent the second year.

Earlier this week, CRONA had picket signs printed.

--Don Kazak