NURSES STRIKE AT A GLANCE

Hundreds of registered nurses walked off the job Thursday at seven East Bay hospitals affiliated with Sutter Health.

Who: Up to 3,200 members of California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.

Where: Three Alta Bates Summit Medical Center facilities in Oakland and Berkeley, Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, San Leandro Hospital, Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, and Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo.

How long: The strike began at 7 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1. Because Sutter brought in replacement nurses on five-day contracts, the striking employees will not be allowed to return to work until 7 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The dispute: The two sides have been negotiating a new contract for 18 months. Union leaders are protesting proposed cutbacks in wages and benefits and reductions in services that they claim will hinder patient care. Sutter maintains the nurses are not willing to accept the type of benefit cuts and concessions that have become standard in other industries.