For Immediate Release Contact: David Schildmeier (MNA/NNU) 781-249-0430
Nurses achieve safer staffing to protect patient care
After hours of negotiations today the registered nurses of UMass Memorial Medical Center’s University campus reached a tentative agreement with UMMMC management that provides the staffing improvements nurses sought to ensure their patients receive quality care at this level one trauma center. The settlement averts a strike, which was set to begin at 6 a.m. on Thursday.
“The three-year contract provides for significant improvements in staffing levels on all floors with limits on nurses patients assignments we sought to ensure safe patient care,” said Margaret McLoughlin, RN, chair of the local bargaining unit for the nurses, who are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United. “We believe this is a fair agreement that is a victory for all of us — nurses, management and most important of all, our patients and community.”
More specific details of the agreement will be released once the members have had a chance to review it. A vote to ratify the agreement will be scheduled in the coming days.
In achieving the breakthrough today, the nurses expressed appreciation for the efforts of U.S. Congressman James McGovern, who played a pivotal role in the last few days to work with both parties to get them to the table so that an agreement could be reached.
“Congressman McGovern is a true friend to nurses and a powerful advocate for our patients and the community we serve,” said Ellen Smith, RN, co-chair of the nurses bargaining unit.