Tufts nurses strike, marking Boston's 1st RN strike in 30 years

Approximately 1,200 nurses at Boston-based Tufts Medical Center went on strike at 7 a.m. Wednesday, signaling the beginning of a planned 24-hour walkout, reports WBUR.

The nurses, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, moved forward with the strike after the union and Tufts failed to reach a last-minute agreement Tuesday night.

"The MNA had an opportunity to reach an agreement tonight; they instead chose to strike and have our nurses walk out on patients," Tufts said in an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review Tuesday. The medical center added, "We went to the table today and offered a path forward that met the needs of our nurses. The union recycled their retirement proposal that is risky for nurses and expensive for the hospital. We have more than 320 experienced nurses here to care for patients beginning tomorrow morning. We will deliver the same exceptional care that we always have at Tufts Medical Center."

The MNA said via a prepared statement nurses are disappointed the union was unable to reach an agreement with Tufts, and they "want and need a contract that improves nurse staffing and adds nursing resources, as well as an agreement that will make them market competitive."

The union added, "They want and need these things for their patients, who deserve to have the right nurse by their bedside at the right time. Management has refused to address these issues and, as a result, the Tufts nurses have been forced to strike in order to be heard and to make things right for their patients."

The two sides have been in negotiations since April 2016. Key sticking points have included wages, staffing and retirement benefits.

This week's strike marks the first nurses strike in Boston in three decades, according to the report. The Boston Globe reports the last nurses strike in Boston was at Dorchester, Mass.-based Carney Hospital in May 1986. That strike lasted five weeks.


More articles on human capital and risk:
Mayo Clinic nurses in Albert Lea, Austin reach labor deal
Tufts, union will make last effort to avoid planned strike
Patience, labor and best practices

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