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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Nurses Reach Tentative Agreement on New MNA Contract Featuring Significant Investment in Nursing and Patient Care

Registered nurses and nurse practitioners will vote to ratify a June 18 agreement aimed at helping DFCI recruit and retain the nurses needed to provide world-class cancer care

BOSTON, Mass. – The almost 800 registered nurses and nurse practitioners at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), have reached a tentative contract agreement (TA) that provides market-leading investments in nurses, enabling DFCI to retain experienced nurses and recruit the nurses necessary to delivering exceptional cancer care and conducting innovative research.

“Dana-Farber nurses are united in securing the resources we need to provide high-quality care, and it shows in this tremendous contract settlement,” said Stephen Laughlin, RN, MNA Chair at DFCI. “Our patients deserve the best nursing care. This agreement will help us maintain our top of the market status and allow Dana Farber to recruit and retain top nurses who provide cutting edge cancer treatments.”

DFCI nurses began negotiating a new contract in November 2023. Their new two-year contract covers January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2025. The TA will need to be ratified by a vote of the DFCI MNA nurses.

Tentative Agreement Highlights

  • Wage Increases: To keep up with a competitive nurse market and complex patient care challenges, DFCI agreed to provide a 9% raise to all nurses in the first year of the contract, including retroactive pay. Nurses will receive a 3% increase in year two with a new partial top step created that is 3% above the current top wage scale step.
  • Attracting Newer Nurses: DFCI agreed to drop the current bottom wage scale step of the contract, raising the rate for newer nurses and making the institute more competitive in this recruitment area.
  • On-Call Improvement: The on-call pay rate will increase to the state’s minimum wage (currently $15/hour). Historically, at DFCI and elsewhere on-call hourly rates have been much lower than the minimum wage and regular pay, burdening nurses who face demanding on-call responsibilities amid an increasing need for expert nursing care.  
  • Grievance Enhancement: Nurses will now be able to file collective grievances when confronting violations of their contract. Previously, only individual grievances were allowed. DFCI nurses will be able to join together while seeking resolution of violations in which they are similarly affected.  
  • Seniority Scheduling: DFCI nurses negotiated scheduling by seniority into their contract to ensure a fair application of scheduling by management across hospital units.



Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 25,000 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.