Nurses suspend picketing outside Massachusetts' Saint Vincent hospital

Nurses at Worcester, Mass.-based Saint Vincent Hospital have agreed to stop picketing until the Jan. 3 vote on a labor deal, according to the union that represents them.

Saint Vincent reached a tentative agreement with the Massachusetts Nurses Association Dec. 17 to end a nine-month strike.

With that agreement in place, nurses agreed to suspend picketing outside the hospital from Dec. 20 – Jan. 4 "as a show of good faith, and to allow nurses and the police, who have been assisting with the picket lines, to spend time with their families during the holidays," the union said in a news release.

The nurses strike began March 8, and a sticking point was the union's demand for striking nurses to return to work in their previous roles. Under the agreement, striking nurses can resume their previous positions, and replacement nurses hired during the strike will keep their roles, too.

The hospital, owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, said striking nurses will get their old positions back after union members ratify the agreement.

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