Management Refuses To Remove Concessions And Wage Demands
The Registered Nurses of the UMass Memorial Medical Center, University Campus today notified management that a strike of the hospital will begin October 26th. “Management left us no choice,” said Kathy Logan, RN Chairperson of the Massachusetts Nurses Association bargaining unit. “We have been at the table for nine months and all we have seen from management is concessions and takeaways. The primary issue here is the quality of care for the people of central Massachusetts. What management is asking for will drive away the most experienced and qualified nurses at the area’s only Level One Trauma Center.”
Two weeks ago 94 percent of the nurses voted to authorize a strike if the Negotiating Committee deemed it necessary. 91 percent of the 840 RNs in the unit voted and held united. Since the vote there have been two negotiating sessions and while management backed off on some of their concessionary demands. They continue to demand concessions in FMLA , RIF language, health insurance, and the retirement system.
At a time when the hospital claims they will make a profit of $47 million this year and just gave CEO John O’Brien a 38 percent increase to $1.27 million a year, they have put forward a pay scale that would cost RNs tens of thousands of dollars during their careers.
“With their record profits and declining numbers of nurses we just don’t understand why management is trying to force the dedicated experienced career nurses to seek work in Boston at other Trauma Centers. We are trying to protect the quality of health care at the only Level One Trauma Center in Central Massachusetts.”