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Labor Party 

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On Feb. 7, registered nurses at Sutter Santa Rosa Medical Center voted for a new 30-month collective-bargaining agreement. Initially, the hospital administration intended to implement reductions in benefits and working conditions, or "takeaways," as reported in these pages ("Hospital Heartbeat," Oct. 26, 2011). After continued negotiations, the hospital withdrew these demands and the 350 RNs accepted the new contracts.

"We are proud to have won a contract that preserves the patient-care standards and working conditions that Sutter Santa Rosa RNs deserve, including affordable healthcare for nurses and our families," said Nancy Anderson, an RN in the neonatal intensive care unit and part of the CNA nurse negotiating team. The signing caps a tumultuous year of one-day strikes and back-and-forth bargaining between the administration and the California Nurses Association.

Trail Blazers

As the number of bicycle and walking enthusiasts in the North Bay grows, so does the need for bike trails, especially ones that connect cities. On Feb. 8, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition (SCBC) announced fundraising efforts for the Petaluma-Sebastopol Trail, an 11-mile, paved, multi-use trail that will link the two towns. "The trail will offer a safe, dedicated route for transportation and recreation by people who walk, bike, use wheelchairs, ride horses and use other nonmotorized modes," according to Sandra Lupien, outreach director for the SCBC. To that end, the SCBC is spearheading a six-week campaign to raise $19,000 in matching funds; the goal is to help support a $190,000 Community Based Transportation Grant to fund a feasibility study on the planned trail project. Matching funds must be collected by March 15. For more info., or to donate, go to www.bikesonoma.org or call 707.545.0153.

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Speaking of Sutter Health, Sonoma County Bike Coalition

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