Massachusetts nurses on strike back at the bargaining table
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Nurses and officials at St. Vincent Hospital are still undergoing negotiations to resolve a strike that has carried into a third month.
Both parties restarted negotiations Wednesday morning, with the talks continuing into the evening.
Nurses, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association union, are advocating for a 1:4 nurse to patient ratio on medical/surgical floors and telemetry units, increased staffing in the emergency department, and ancillary support in each unit.
The hospital’s parent company, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, has offered wage and salary increases, but nurses have continued to advocate for more staffing.
Nurses have said that the current nurse-to-patient ratio, primarily 1:5, is unsafe.
U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, along with U.S. Reps. James P. McGovern and Lori Trahan, sent a letter to Tenet’s Board of Directors Wednesday urging for the continuation of negotiations.
“Since contract negotiations have not yet resulted in an agreement and the work stoppage has gone on for almost two months, we continue to urge all parties involved to support efforts to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of the entire community, the hospital and its workers,” the lawmakers wrote. “We respectfully request that you advocate for St. Vincent’s and Tenet to continue meaningful negotiations and remain at the bargaining table until the hospital and the MNA reach a deal.”