Regional Council 5 News
Hundreds of Tufts RNs and their Supporters to Flood onto Washington St. for April 12 Informational Picket
What: An informational picket by hundreds of Tufts Medical Center nurses
When: Wednesday, April 12; 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Outside Tufts Medical Center; 800 Washington St., Boston
Who: Tufts Medical Center RNs and their friends, families, neighbors, and supporters
Why: The MNA nurses of Tufts Medical Center will hold an informational picket to educate the public about their ongoing struggles with management to resolve several urgent issues affecting patient care, including:
- Constant understaffing of RNs throughout the hospital
- The need for the hospital to end the use of reassignment — the practice of requiring RNs to move to floor/units where they are not experienced or trained to care for those types of patients — as a staffing mechanism
- Ongoing problems with turnover and recruiting/retaining new nurses due to uncompetitive wages
- And efforts by management to cut nurses’ benefits, which will lead to an additional increase in nurse turnover
“We will be outside the hospital Wednesday evening because we want the public to know we are completely dedicated to keeping Tufts patients safe and healthy,” said Barbara Tiller, RN and co-chair of the MNA bargaining unit at Tufts. “But management’s decisions around staffing, as well as how they hire, train, and treat their staff nurses, negatively affect our ability to deliver top-quality care to our patients.”
The informational picket follows a vote by nurses on March 29 that authorizes their union negotiating committee to call a one-day strike if and when they feel it is necessary. The RNs have been in talks with management for a new contract since April of 2016. 24 sessions have been held in total, but little headway has been made on the key issues (outlined above). A federal mediator joined the negotiations following the March 29 vote.
“The purpose of our strike authorization vote was to tell management how serious we are about resolving these issues as part of our contract talks,” said Mary Havlicek Cornacchia, RN and bargaining unit co-chair. “The purpose of our informational picket is to inform the public about what is at stake if these issues continue to go unresolved. It’s a matter of people’s health and safety.”
For full details on the nurses’ contract talks, as well as information on their strike authorization vote, visit http://bit.ly/Tufts3_29_17.