Striking Nurses, Hospital Resume Negotiations

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Striking nurses from a Massachusetts hospital will resume talks Thursday with management in the hopes of ending the work stoppage.

A federal mediator working on negotiations scheduled two days of face-to-face discussions at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester.

Nurses at St. Vincent went on strike March 8 demanding better staffing ratios, which they said is necessary to ensure patient safety.

The strike is now the nation's longest nurses' strike in more than a decade, according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

Marlena Pellegrino, co-chair of the Massachusetts Nurses Association's bargaining unit at St. Vincent, said the nurses are hopeful the current round of talks will resolve the dispute.

“Getting back to our patients’ bedside with enforceable contract language on staffing that provides all of our patients with the care and dignity they deserve is our goal this week," she told The Worcester Gazette.

St. Vincent is owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare. The company declined to comment to The Telegram and Gazette.

Patients at the hospital are being cared for by temporary replacement nurses, but the hospital has also hired new permanent nurses. Some staff nurses have also crossed the picket line.