Skip to main content

County of Santa Clara Working to Minimize Healthcare Disruptions in Light of Strike Notice from Nurses Union

County remains ready to continue negotiations with the Registered Nurses Professional Association

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. – The County is working to protect patients and minimize disruptions to health services after receiving a strike notice late Friday evening from bargaining representatives with the Registered Nurses Professional Association (RNPA). The County is hopeful that RNPA will return to the table to reach a fair and sustainable contract for both sides and work together to continue providing quality healthcare for the community. 

According to RNPA’s strike notice, the three-day strike is scheduled to begin at 4:59 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2 and end at 6:59 a.m. on Friday, April 5. 

“The County Health System has some of the most talented and dedicated nurses in all of healthcare.  They deserve fair compensation, and that is why we are paying and continue to offer among the most competitive salaries and benefits in the Bay Area,” said County Executive James R. Williams. “The County hopes that RNPA will return to the table so that we can continue working towards reaching agreement on a fair, competitive, and sustainable contract.”

Most recently, after weeks of mediation with RNPA, the mediator issued a proposal that outlined his view of a fair compromise on all outstanding issues in the negotiations. Unfortunately, the next day, RNPA rejected the mediator’s proposal and issued a strike notice. 

“Our highest priority is making sure our community members continue to get the high-quality healthcare they need,” Williams said. “We are taking all necessary steps to safeguard patients, employees, and visitors from the impacts of any possible strike activity.”

The County will provide regular updates to the community on any potential disruptions to patient care.

The County will also continue negotiating in good faith with RNPA, and it is still possible the parties will reach an agreement on a contract and avert a strike.

Along with other local government agencies, the County faces a national and statewide backdrop of dwindling resources and a significant structural budget deficit. The County is currently projecting a $250 million structural (ongoing) deficit for the next fiscal year (FY 2024-25). As the main provider of the community’s safety net services, the County must be responsible with resources to protect critical services for the most vulnerable in our community.

“The County’s labor contracts must ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the critical services we provide the community and allow for fair negotiations and compensation for the many exceptional public employees represented by other labor unions,” Williams said. 

Key facts about the County’s current compensation for RNPA-represented staff and the County’s current fiscal situation:

Salaries and Compensation

  • Since 2020, RNPA-represented nurses have received nearly 30% in compounded salary increases. Per diem clinical nurses have received approximately 42% in compounded salary increases. Just last fiscal year, the vast majority of nurses received a 13.3% wage increase. More information about RNPA-represented employee compensation history is available here.
  • The County of Santa Clara offers one of the most competitive salary and benefits package for clinical nurses in the Bay Area. The average annual pay for a full-time RNPA-represented member is $259,103 in wages, including average overtime and differential pays. The average total compensation including wages and benefits is $326,542. More information about RNPA-represented employee average compensation is available here.

Turnover and Vacancy Rates

  • In 2022, the County’s turnover rate for Registered Nurses (RNs) was 8.1%, which was significantly lower than the national turnover rate for RNs of 18.2%.
  • The RNPA clinical nurses’ vacancy rate is 8.4%, which is approximately half of the national vacancy rate.
  • More information about turnover and vacancy rates is available here.

Status of Contract Negotiations

  • RNPA and the County have already reached tentative agreements on many key terms and priority areas for our nurses, including on workplace safety.
  • The key issues that remain unresolved between the parties are overall wage increases, and the temporary assignment of staff from one location to another to better align with patient volumes and needs across the County’s hospitals and clinics.
  • More information about the County's negotiations with RNPA are available here.

County Budget Deficit

To address the County’s structural (ongoing) deficit, County departments received significant budget reduction targets, as described here:

For updates on the County’s current negotiations with RNPA, visit: