News & Events

More Coverage of Superior Court Ruling in Favor of Cambridge Hospital Nurses

Judge rules against Cambridge Health Alliance over health care costs

By Scott Wachtler

Wicked Local Cambridge

Posted Jul 14, 2011 @ 04:54 PM

Last update Jul 14, 2011 @ 04:57 PM

Cambridge —

The Massachusetts Nurses Association is declaring a “complete” victory after a Middlex Superior Court judge ruled that the Cambridge Health Alliance would not be allowed to raise the health insurance contribution of retired nurses.

The ruling prohibits the CHA from establishing a different subsidiary rate for its retirees who are members of the Cambridge Retirement System than the rate of all other members of the Cambridge Retirement System.

In a statement, the Mass. Nurses Assocation, said the CHA had been trying to make the cuts to retiree health benefits for over a year.

“We are thrilled to have won this victory for the dedicated nurses of Cambridge Hospital who have devoted their careers to the care of this community,” said Betty Kaloustian, co-chair of the MNA local bargaining unit at Cambridge Hospital. “We are also saddened that our employer has gone to such great lengths to skirt the law and their obligations to their employees. We hope this ruling will finally bring this sad chapter to a close.”

In a written statement, Cambridge Health Alliance spokesman David Cecere said CHA is still evaluating the judge’s ruling that was made July 1.

“We are considering all our options with legal counsel, but 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,” he said. “We also recognize that the court’s decision will require appropriate evaluation by the City of Cambridge. No court decision will alter the fact that these retirement health plan liabilities must be funded appropriately and, as such, the original need to address this liability still stands.”

Cambridge Health Alliance is an integrated health system serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities. CHA is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine. The CHA has operated via municipal contract with the City of Cambridge, and the Institute for Community Health.

Read more: Judge rules against Cambridge Health Alliance over health care costs – Cambridge, Massachusetts – Cambridge Chronicle