Newton-Wellesley Hospital nurses authorize strike: 5 things to know

Union nurses at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass, who are negotiating a new contract with Boston-based Partners HealthCare, have voted to authorize a one-day strike.

Here are five things to know about the vote and contract negotiations.

1. The vote was 90 percent in favor of the strike.

2. The vote does not mean the nurses will immediately strike. However, it allows the negotiating committee to call a one-day strike if and when it feels it is necessary.  Once the committee issues its official notice to strike, the hospital has 10 days before the nurses will go on strike.

3. Core staffing, as well as and the number of nurses who "float" from one area of the medical center to another, is a key point of contention in the negotiations, according to the nurses, who are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

4. In a Boston Business Journal report, Hospital spokesman Brian O’Dea said the hospital was prepared for a strike, if one should occur, but was hoping to avoid a strike in negotiating session scheduled for June 12 and June 16.

5. The parties began negotiations on Aug. 25, 2014, and to date 15 sessions have been held. The contract expired on Sept. 30, 2014 but has been extended through the next session, which is scheduled for June 12.


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