WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Striking nurses at a Massachusetts hospital have filed an unfair labor practices complaint against their employer with the National Labor Relations Board, the nurses’ union said Tuesday.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association, on behalf of the 700 striking nurses of St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, alleged that the hospital is trying to “coerce, intimidate and retaliate against the nurses to undermine their legal right to advocate for safer working conditions.”
The strike that started March 8 has now gone on nearly six months and is the longest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts history, according to the union.
The nurses are seeking better staff-to-patient ratios, which they say are critical for patient safety. The hospital, owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, says staffing levels are in line with industry standards and the hospital has proposed better staffing in some units.
St. Vincent in a statement denied unfair labor practices.
“Filing unfair labor practice charges is a common tactic by unions to attempt to convert a strike to an ‘unfair labor practice strike’, which would require the hospital to fire the 164 permanent replacement nurses it has hired,” the statement said.