SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The 47 registered nurses and health care professionals of Mercy Home Care officially joined the Massachusetts Nurses Association on Tuesday, Sept. 19 with an election by the membership.
“We are very excited to join the MNA,” said Chris Mangano, an RN at Mercy Home Care. “This is a win for our patients and our nurses. When nurses and other health care professionals have a real, independent voice in the care we are able to provide our patients it benefits all of us. We hope to work with everyone at Mercy Home Care in a positive way to create excellent outcomes for everyone involved.”
With their vote to become part of the MNA, the Mercy Home Care nurses and health care professionals join more than 400 RNs at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield and Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke who already belong to the association. All three organizations are owned by Trinity Health.
The MNA is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the state, representing more than 23,000 nurses and health care professionals in 86 facilities, including 53 acute care hospitals.
MNA president Donna Kelly-Williams, who works as an obstetrical and neonatal nurse at Cambridge Hospital, congratulated the Mercy Home Care nurses and health care professionals 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,” Kelly-Williams said. “Nurses and health care professionals at Mercy Home Care now have a legally protected seat at the table with management to define their nursing practice and address issues impacting patients under their care.”
Mercy Home Care professionals are planning to move quickly to negotiate their first MNA contract. They were supported in their effort to unionize by MNA members at Mercy Medical Center and Providence Behavioral Health Center.
“We have been MNA members for decades, providing us with a strong and protected voice to advocate for our patients and ourselves,” said Cathy Penniman, RN, BSN, at Mercy Medical Center and a member of her hospital’s MNA Bargaining Committee. “Through our union we have forged a positive relationship with hospital management. We are proud to belong to the MNA and proud of what our union voice has allowed us to achieve.”
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.