In full transparency, the following is a media release from Sen. Ed Markey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who were elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. Both are Democrats.
WASHINGTON DC – United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey along with Representatives James P. McGovern and Lori Trahan sent a letter to Tenet Healthcare (Tenet) Board of Directors expressing concerns regarding the contract negotiations between St. Vincent Hospital (St. Vincent’s), their parent company Tenet, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), which represents the approximately 800 professional nurses at the hospital. The lawmakers urge Tenet’s Board of Directors to 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.
The existing contract between the MNA and St. Vincent’s expired on February 11, 2021.
The Association authorized a work stoppage after the existing contract expired and began the work stoppage on March 8, 2021 – almost two months ago.
“After several weeks, we remain deeply concerned about the impact this work stoppage has on the nurses, their families, and for patients, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We are hopeful that both parties can resume negotiations in earnest to immediately end this work stoppage and reinstate vital care for communities in Worcester and across the Central Massachusetts region,” the lawmakers wrote.
Massachusetts continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic along with the rest of the country.
Since the lawmakers wrote to Tenet in February, there have been over 11,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Worcester County, where St. Vincent’s is located, bringing the total to over 75,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
tenet also owns MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, which is not on strike.
While St. Vincent’s always plays a critical role in Central Massachusetts, the hospital and our nurses’ contribution to the community is even more significant due to the pandemic.
“The professional nurses at St. Vincent’s and their families are not only an integral part of this community, but they have felt some of the pandemic’s heaviest impact each and every day, working to save patients and protect themselves.
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.