News & Events

MNA in the News — More Coverage of Holy Family Vote and Cambridge Hospital Ruling

Registered nurses at Holy Family join union

By Brian Messenger

METHUEN — Registered nurses at Steward Holy Family Hospital voted Monday to join the state and nation’s leading nurses union.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association and National Nurses United will now represent 357 registered nurses at the hospital, which is part of the Steward Health Care system.

The MNA already represents nurses at five other Steward facilities, including Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, according to a union press release.

"We are thrilled to have achieved this victory, which is not only a victory for nurses, but also for our patients and the community we serve," said Ed Burke, a registered nurse who works in Holy Family’s pediatric unit.

MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams praised the Holy Family nurses for their "courageous effort to stand up for their protected right to advocate for their patients and themselves."

"When nurses are organized, patients are the biggest beneficiaries," said Kelly-Williams.

The drive to organize at Holy Family began in 2009, when the nurses began meeting with MNA representatives to discuss concerns about a variety of issues, including the need for improved nurse staffing ratios, improved floating policies, and improvements in job security.

With 23,000 members, the MNA is the largest professional health care organization and largest union of registered nurses in Massachusetts. The NNU is the largest national nurses union in the country with more than 170,000 members.

• • •

Follow Brian Messenger on Twitter under the screen name Brian_Messenger. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to

Holy Family nurses vote to join union

Boston Business Journal – by Julie M. Donnelly

Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:29am EDT

Steward Holy Family Hospital’s 357 nurses voted late Monday to join the Massachusetts Nurses Association

Holy Family in Methuen is the sixth hospital owned by for-profit parent Steward Health Care whose nurses have joined the union. The MNA says it represents more than 2,000 registered nurses and other workers at Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Norwood Hospital, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton and Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill.

“When nurses are organized, patients are the biggest beneficiaries,” MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams said in a statement.

The vote to unionize was 70 percent to 30 percent. The MNA said the nurses will now elect members to their bargaining committee.


Judge sides with nurses against Cambridge Health Alliance

Boston Business Journal – by Galen Moore

Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 2:45pm EDT – Last Modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 3:08pm EDT

In a setback for the operator of three hospitals in Cambridge, a Middlesex County Superior Court Judge on Monday sided with a nurse’s union, prohibiting the Cambridge Health Alliance from raising the health insurance contribution rates paid by retired nurses.

Affiliated with Harvard Medical School, the Cambridge Health Alliance operates three campuses in Cambridge. The Massachusetts Nurses Association

The Cambridge Health Alliance

In his ruling, superior court judge H. J. Smith Jr. permanently enjoined the hospital chain from establishing a different subsidiary rate for retirees who are also members of the Cambridge Retirement System.

In a news release, the Massachusetts Nurses Association hailed the ruling, saying it is the latest in a string of victories for the union against the hospital operator.

A Cambridge Health Alliance spokesman offered a written statement, saying the hospital operator is evaluating the decision, and evaluating its options. "We expect to appeal the ruling and be given an opportunity to submit evidence that supports our contention that we have the right to control our own finances and affairs in these precarious economic times," the statement said. The statement also indicated that the city of Cambridge will have a role in financing the retirement obligations.