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Stanford nurses say hospitals prioritize profits over care

Katherine Simpson
Hundreds of nurses picketed outside of Stanford Hospital Monday and were joined by local elected officials and other union representatives.

About 5,000 nurses at Stanford and Packard hospitals went on strike April 25 demanding better pay and mental health support.

ICU nurse Bonnie Balfour has worked at Stanford for nearly 50 years. She joined the picket line and honking car parade with hundreds of other nurses.

She hopes executives will hear the nurses demands.

"We are worth it," Balfour says, "and rather than spending money at the top, we need to spend money at bedside, for the nurses."

Stanford said in an email “We respect our nurses’ legal right to take part in a work stoppage but are deeply disappointed that the union chose this path.”

The nurses' contracts expired at the end of last month. The union argues that the hospitals, who saw a combined operating surplus of over $600 million in 2021, are prioritizing profits over nurses.

Stanford executives announced over Easter weekend that striking nurses would lose their health benefits, bringing local attention to the strike.