Nurses picket at Newton-Wellesley Hospital

About 200 nurses at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass., conducted an informational picket Thursday over concerns about patient care, according to a FOX25 report.

The nurses, who are negotiating a new contract with the hospital's owner, Boston-based Partners HealthCare, contend that contract talks have stalled over the health system's plan to decrease core RN staffing levels and increase the "floating" of nurses from one area of the medical center to another to cover for staffing shortages, according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which represents more than 900 RNs at Newton-Wellesley. Nurses believe this plan will not only lead to unsafe patient assignments for RNs, but also deprive patients of specialized care they need to have a safe hospital stay, the union said.

In addition to cutting staffing, the hospital is also seeking to cut nurses benefits, while offering the majority of the most experienced nurses a 1 percent pay increase, according to the union.

But a hospital representative told FOX25 that patient care is the organization's top priority, and the float pool "provides flexibility in staffing and is closely monitored all day every day."

The hospital added that it provides good working conditions for nurses and believes contract negotiations are moving in a positive direction, according to the report.


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Hospitals and unions: 11 recent conflicts, agreements

Nurses picket New York hospitals over staffing levels

Nurse scheduling rethought: Case study at Southampton Hospital

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