FRAMINGHAM – The 800 registered nurses at St. Vincent Hospital, who are negotiating a new contract with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, announced today it delivered the required 10-day notice to hospital management on Tuesday evening, notifying them of their intent to strike the hospital beginning at 6 a.m. on Monday, March 8.
“We are disappointed that the MNA has walked away from the negotiating table and plans to hold a strike beginning March 8. Our hospital will remain fully operational and our patients will be cared for by qualified replacement nurses and other caregivers<‘ said Tenet in a written statement.
“Over the 17 months of negotiations, we listened attentively to our nurses and made multiple successive and increasing offers to the MNA. We presented the best proposal in ten years that comprehensively addresses wages, including increases as high as 22% for some nurses and increases to differentials, benefits improvements of up to $4600 for part time nurses in out of pocket premium costs, additional nursing roles, and enhanced ER security,” said Tenet. “This offer has been shared with community leaders and stakeholders, who have agreed it is fair and generous.”
“We have one of the few contracts in the Commonwealth with staffing guidelines. These guidelines are already comparable to or better than those at peer hospitals, including many that are well-known brands for world-class medical care. Since Monday of this week (before the strike notice was issued), MNA leadership has been aware that Saint Vincent Hospital has been willing to return to the negotiating table to discuss further concessions on staffing. Instead of listening to the proposal or agreeing to meet, the MNA has issued a strike notice. Accordingly, between now and March 8th, Saint Vincent will be focusing its efforts on preparing for the strike,” said Tenet in a statement.
“We believe a strike is irresponsible in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. It is now very clear that the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s agenda during our negotiations has been to use Saint Vincent Hospital, its own nurse members and the Worcester community as pawns to advance their previously failed ballot initiative on mandated staffing ratios rather than negotiate in good faith,” said Tenet this morning, February 24.
Tenet also owns Framingham Union Hospital in Framingham and Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick.