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Bay Area nurses set to strike early Tuesday

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Union officials say thousands of San Francisco Bay area nurses are set to walk off the job early Tuesday in what will be the second strike this month by nurses represented by the California Nurses Association.

A union spokesman says registered nurses at eight hospitals operated by Sutter Health and at two San Jose hospitals operated by Hospital Corporation of America will go on strike at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

The strike of the Sutter hospitals is planned for two days, while the strike at the HCA hospitals is set for one day.

The hospitals have hired replacements on five-day contracts for the strike. Hospital officials say because of the contracts, the striking nurses won't be allowed to return to work until Sunday.

The strike is the seventh by CNA since September of 2011. It comes as both sides remain at odds over staffing levels, sick leave and other issues.

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