News & Events

Mass. Workers Rights Board Holds April 13 Hearing on the Staffing Crisis at Tufts Medical Center

M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y

Mass. Workers Rights Board Holds April 13 Hearing
on the Staffing Crisis at Tufts Medical Center

Frontline Nurses Will Present Testimony Regarding
Unsafe Staffing Conditions that Are Jeopardizing Patient Safety
As Strike Vote Looms on April 14

Nurses Plan to Release Report at Hearing Based on More than 600
Patient Safety Complaints Filed by Nurses in the Last 15 Months

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Time: 10 a.m.

Where: Asian Community Center, 38 Oak St., Boston, MA

Who: Frontline nurses from Tufts Medical Center will share their concerns about safety issues at the hospital with a panel of community and civic leaders, including Christina Knowles of Mass NOW, Rabbi Barbara Penzner of Hillel B’nai Torah, neurology specialist Dr. Rachel A. Nardin, Centro Presente’s Executive Director Patti Montes, Jeff Stone of Community Dialogues, and Ben Day, Executive Director of MassCARE.

Tufts Medical Center caregivers and experts will gather at the Asian Community Center at 38 Oak Street in Chinatown on Wednesday, April 13 at 10 a.m. to have their testimony heard by a panel of community and civic leaders. The event will focus on the current understaffing of nurses and other workplace issues that compromise the quality of patient care. The panel will issue findings at a later date based on the information they collect during the event. The hearing is being held the day before the nurses take a vote to authorize a one-day strike over the issue of safe staffing for safer patient care.

The nurses have serious concerns about recent changes to RN staffing levels and other changes in how they deliver care that has resulted in nurses being forced to care for more patients at one time on nearly every unit. To compensate for chronic understaffing, TMC is using mandatory overtime, and is forcing nurses to “float” from one area of the hospital to another where they might not be competent to provide appropriate care.

Those changes transformed this hospital from being one of the best staffed hospitals in Boston to the worst staffed hospital in the city. In the past 15 months alone, nurses have filed more than 600 reports of incidents that jeopardized patient care.

The Massachusetts Workers’ Rights Board is a board of community, faith, and political leaders who lend their names, time, and support to the workers’ rights struggle. It gives workers who are subjected to unjust practices an opportunity to have their voices heard. “More and more workers today are taking on additional work while losing benefits.” Said Rabbi Penzner, “In medicine, this translates into less attention to each patient. I want to hear the nurses’ stories and support these heroes of health care.”

The event is sponsored by the Workers’ Rights Coalition and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice. For more information or to set up interviews with panelist or testifiers please contact Jennifer Doe at or (908) 420-9632. For interviews with TMC nurses, contact David Schildmeier at 781-249-0430 or Barbara Tiller, RN at Tufts, at 508-241-8215.


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