Meetings planned in effort to end nurses’ strike

Boston Statehouse

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Negotiations between management at a Massachusetts hospital and nurses who have been on strike for nearly five months are scheduled to resume Monday.

A federal mediator has scheduled all-day sessions Monday and Tuesday between management at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester and the hospital’s nurses represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association union.

The major disagreement in the acrimonious strike that started March 8 is staffing levels. The nurses want better staff-to-patient ratios, which they say are critical for patient safety during the pandemic and beyond.

The hospital, owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, maintains that staffing ratios are in line with industry standards and has offered better staffing in some units.

“As nurses continue to be resolved and united in our effort to ensure safer patient care, we look forward to this opportunity to meet in person with the hospital to continue a good faith dialogue that we hope will lead to a settlement to end our strike,” Marlena Pellegrino, a St. Vincent nurse and co-chair of the local bargaining unit, said in a statement.

A St. Vincent Hospital spokesperson said management had no comment on the resumption of talks.

The last negotiations were July 22-23.

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