SAN LEANDRO | Feb. 10, 2012 | A representative for nurses at San Leandro Hospital urged the Eden Township Healthcare District Wednesday night to include the union in negotiations between them and Sutter Health over the future of the facility.

Carol Barazi, a nurse at San Leandro Hospital, speaking from a statement from a labor representative for the California Nurses Association (CNA) said the hospital has been rife with rumors of negotiations and a settlement between Sutter and the District. In the statement, Mike Brannan of CNA, called for open negotiations while pledging support for the District’s efforts.

“The last time this happened several years ago there were a lot of negotiations held behind closed doors,” said the statement. “After some pushing by unions, meetings were held, but it was obvious a decision was already made. We are asking you to be as transparent as possible, if indeed, anything is going on.”

As reported earlier this week in The Citizen, negotiations have been on-going in recent weeks. Last Monday, San Leandro Councilman Michael Gregory spoke of the existence of a settlement during a meeting of the City Council. He added the District had hoped to have news of the final settlement before last Wednesday’s heavily-attended public meeting at the San Leandro Senior Community Center, but was unable to finalize the terms.

“There is no settlement and to my knowledge no discussion,” said Stacey Wells, a spokesperson for Sutter Health. “And if there were, they would be legal in nature because the District continues to keep this issue tied up in court.”

Carole Rogers, the chair of the District board of directors, also denied a settlement was near, nor has she seen a proposal from Sutter.

According to sources, the deal would mirror Sutter’s demand from, as far back as 2009, to hand over title of the hospital. Sutter would then lease the building to the Alameda County Medical Center and run the facility as an acute rehabilitation center. In exchange, the District would not be liable for potentially millions in damages due to Sutter from two unsuccessful court decisions that challenged Sutter’s right to the title.

“The District would be crazy not to take this deal,” said a county official, with knowledge of the potential deal, who chose not to be identified.