Tufts nurses to resume negotiations following July strike

Hospital officials and the Massachusetts Nurses Association will return to the bargaining table to try to reach a labor deal for nurses at Boston-based Tufts Medical Center, according to a Boston Business Journal report.

Tufts said in an emailed statement a federal mediator has scheduled negotiations for Aug. 31, Sept. 11 and Sept. 13. 

This will mark the first negotiations since approximately 1,200 Tufts nurses went on strike in July. Following the one-day strike, Tufts disallowed striking nurses to return to work for four more days because the medical center needed to hire temporary replacement workers for a minimum of five days.

Overall, Tufts and MNA have been in negotiations since April 2016. A key sticking point between both sides involves a proposed retirement benefit change, according to the report.

Tufts has said it proposed discontinuing a defined benefit retirement plan that currently includes 341 nurses and moving the nurses to the hospital's 403(b) retirement plan.

Tufts recently offered an 18-month delay for the change, although MNA rejected the offer and instead has proposed a multiemployer pension plan, reports Boston Business Journal.

Tufts said the weeks since the July strike "have been a time for our nurses and other members of the care team at Tufts Medical Center to reconnect and to focus as a team on what we do best — care for our patients and their families."

Hospital officials added they "look forward to productive discussions and reaching a fair contract for our nurses." 

 

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