Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital workers stage walkout

Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital employees, who are members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, staged a walkout Jan. 17 outside the Boston-based facility, according to hospital and union statements shared with Becker's.  

The union represents more than 500 workers at Faulkner Hospital, including personal care attendants, unit service techs, dietary workers, housekeepers, mental health workers, and administrative and support staff, according to information provided by a union spokesperson. Faulkner Hospital is part of Somerville, Mass.-based Mass General Brigham.

Union members estimate that the walkout — which occurred during workers' lunch break and was not a strike — drew more than 100 workers and supporters. 

Workers say they have been in negotiations with hospital management for six months, and they seek higher pay to address retention and recruitment. They also contend that low wages at the hospital are contributing to staffing challenges.

"I am proud to be taking action with my coworkers because we cannot live on what Mass General Brigham is proposing," Stacie Welch, a unit secretary at Faulkner Hospital said in a news release from the union. "I have been with Faulkner for over 20 years, and it is disheartening that we must fight to care for ourselves as we care for others. Higher wages are a win for workers and the patients we care for."

Laura Barnett, executive director of human resources at Faulkner Hospital, shared the following statement with Becker's: "Our goal has been, and remains, to reach a fair agreement that supports and recognizes the critical work of our staff in providing high-quality care to our patients. We continue to work towards that goal."

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