Striking Massachusetts nurses head to Dallas with 16-foot petition for Tenet

Worcester, Mass.-based St. Vincent Hospital nurses are traveling to Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare to "speak directly to the corporate executives" amid a monthslong strike, according to MassLive

The group of nurses is traveling to Dallas on July 7 to deliver a 16-foot petition signed by the 700-plus members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. The petition asks Tenet to resume negotiations with nurses at its St. Vincent subsidiary, specifically requesting increased staffing, which has been a sticking point of talks. Some Tenet workers in California will be joining the nurses in their visit, according to a news release from the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

"After months of fruitless efforts trying to convince St. Vincent Hospital's administration to provide us with the resources we need to protect our patients and our community, we have decided to travel to Dallas, Texas and speak directly to the corporate executives who have the ultimate control over the safety and quality of care at our hospital," Marlena Pellegrino, RN, co-chair of the association's local bargaining unit, told MassLive.

In a statement to Becker's, the hospital said it was prepared to present another offer to nurses in person, but the nurses rejected offers to meet July 5-7 this week because some were participating in the travel. The hospital offered a new proposal July 6 through a federal mediator, in which the hospital said it accepted enhanced nursing proposals put forth by the association on four units and provides "meaningful compromises" on seven others. St. Vincent also said it met the association's agreements on safety measures and shift differentials. 

"We remain ready to discuss the proposal in person this week and invite those members of the bargaining committee who are not traveling to Dallas and want to make progress towards a new contract to engage in dialog with us," St. Vincent CEO Carolyn Jackson said in a news release.

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