News & Events

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to Visit the St. Vincent Hospital Nurses on their Strike Line for Patient Safety on March 24 at 3 p.m.

03.24.2021

 St. Vincent Nurses on Strike for Safer Patient Care Conditions Since March 8 Have Received Tremendous Support from Colleagues, Patients, Elected Officials, Unions and Community Members

WORCESTER, Mass. – The 800 striking nurses of St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester will receive a boost on Wednesday, March 24 as they will be visited by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on their strike line outside the hospital at 3 p.m., which will help mark their 16th day of an open-ended strike for safer patient care against Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare.

The visit by Attorney General Healey highlights the tremendous public support the 800 St. Vincent nurses have received since beginning an open-ended strike on March 8. On March 12 nurses were joined by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Congressman James McGovern, and former Congressman Joe Kennedy. Support has poured in from around the world on social media and people have travelled from across Massachusetts and the country to join nurses on their strike line. On March 16, the Worcester City Council approved a resolution in support of nurses and other dedicated staff.

Also this week, Worcester Interfaith, a coalition of the community’s faith leaders, will host a prayer vigil in support of the nurses, which will be held on Thursday, March 25 at 7:15 p.m.

Attorney General Healy Visit

When: Wednesday, March 24 at 3 p.m.

Where: Outside the Summer Street entrance of St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester

 “St. Vincent nurses feel tremendous appreciation for Attorney General Healey taking the time to visit our strike line and for her support,” said Marlena Pellegrino, RN, a frontline nurse at the hospital and Co-Chair of the nurses local bargaining unit with the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA). “Tenet Healthcare is a for-profit corporation making decisions based on its bottom line and how it can enrich its shareholders. Nurses are proud to take a stand for patient safety with the backing of so many amazing supporters.”

The 800 SVH nurses, who are represented by the MNA voted overwhelmingly on Feb. 10 to authorize the strike, and began an open-ended strike beginning at 6 a.m. on March 8.  The decision to strike followed a concerted effort over the last two years by the nurses to convince Tenet to improve the patient care conditions at the facility, poor conditions that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Adding insult to injury, the same day nurses voted to authorize the strike, Tenet announced annual profits of more than $400 million.

In the last year alone, nurses have filed more than 600 official “unsafe staffing” reports (more than 110 such reports have been filed since Jan. 1, 2021) in which nurses informed management in real time that patient care conditions jeopardized the safety of their patients.  The nurses also report their patients in Worcester have experienced an increase in patient falls, an increase in patients suffering from preventable bed sores, potentially dangerous delays in patients receiving needed medications and other treatments – all due to lack of appropriate staffing, excessive patient assignments, and cuts to valuable support staff. 

Earlier this week, the nurses went public with a number of reports of poor patient care being delivered by a cadre of ill prepared strike replacement nurses, which Tenet has spent millions of dollars to hire to prolong the strike, funds that could be used to improve conditions for the patients of Worcester and ensure quality patient care. 

For a more detailed review of the staffing crisis, efforts by nurses to convince Tenet to address the crisis, as well as proposals nurses are seeking to improve patient care, click here to view a previous press release on the matter. 

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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.

 


 

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