St. Vincent, nurses to resume negotiations July 9

Worcester, Mass.-based St. Vincent Hospital and nurses will head to the negotiating table July 9, according to the Telegram & Gazette

The Massachusetts Nurses Association, which represents more than 700 nurses, and St. Vincent will resume negotiations after some of the nurses return from a trip to Dallas, where the hospital's parent organization, Tenet Healthcare, is based. 

A group of nurses is traveling to Dallas on July 7 to deliver a 16-foot petition signed by the MNA in an effort to "speak directly to the corporate executives" about their ongoing negotiations around staffing and safety at St. Vincent. 

The hospital, which put forth a new proposal July 6, said it was prepared to present the offer in person, but the association declined so that some nurses could travel to Dallas. In its new proposal, St. Vincent said it accepted enhanced nursing proposals put forth by the association on four units and provided "meaningful compromises" on seven others. St. Vincent also said it met the association's agreements on safety measures and shift differentials. 

"The MNA should be pleased with the movement we have made," St. Vincent CEO Carolyn Jackson said in a July 6 news release. "It's regrettable that while we're devoting our full attention to contract talks, some members of the bargaining committee are focused not on meeting immediately but rather on travelling to Dallas for a publicity event."

Marlena Pellegrino, RN, co-chair of the association's local bargaining unit, told the Telegram & Gazette via text, "Of course we will give their proposal careful consideration and hope on Friday we can move this process towards a positive outcome. But that does not deter us from our broader goal, which is to hold Tenet accountable for their past behavior and to ensure that going forward our patients are safe and our nurses are treated with the dignity they deserve."

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