Striking Nurses, Hospital, Scheduled To Resume Negotiations

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A group of striking nurses from a Massachusetts hospital traveled to the headquarters of the hospital's Dallas-based owner ahead of the scheduled resumption of negotiations later this week, officials said.

A group of 17 nurses from St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, including 10 from the bargaining committee, have scheduled a news conference on Wednesday and will present a petition signed by more than 700 nurses as a direct appeal to Tenet Healthcare executives, according to the their union.

They are asking Tenet to respond to the nurses’ call for increased staffing and better patient care, the focus of the nurses’ four-month strike.

St. Vincent management in a statement referred to the trip as “theatrics” and said the union's “misguided actions once again miss the critical point that this is a local issue — this is a community hospital in Worcester, and all people necessary to bring this strike to a close with a fair deal are here at Saint Vincent Hospital,” The Telegram & Gazette reported.

St. Vincent management presented the Massachusetts Nurses Association with a proposal Tuesday, which “specifically accepts enhanced nurse staffing proposals by the MNA on four units and provides meaningful compromises on seven additional units.”

The sides are scheduled to meet Friday to discuss the latest proposal.

“Of course we will give their proposal careful consideration and hope on Friday we can move this process towards a positive outcome,” Marlena Pellegrino, chair of the nurses’ bargaining committee, told the newspaper.