News & Events
Please join members of the Western Mass Community in Solidarity with the Courageous MNA Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital
WHEN: Thursday, September 2nd, 2021, 3PM
WHERE: At North Entrance to St. Vincent Hospital, 123 Summer St, Worcester
WHO: Let's Get 50 of us to GO!
Please join members of the Western Mass community including Mass Nurses Association members from Western Mass Hospitals, Union members from the Western Mass Area Labor Federation, the River Vally DSA and others as we join in solidarity with the courageous MNA nurses at Worcester's, St. Vincent Hospital. As of August 31st this strike has become the longest nurses strike in Massachusetts history and it is the longest nurses strike nationally in over 15 years. St. V nurses are fighting for safe patient workloads with a corporate bully, Tenet, a for profit hospital system based in Texas. The St. Vs nurses took on this fight not just for themselves, but for all nurses, for all healthcare workers and for our community.
Our union family at St. V’s are in the home stretch and feeling the pressure. Tenet has tried to beat them down and they are holding strong, but they could really use our support now more then ever. Tenet also needs to see that they can not get away with their outrageous behavior and we as fellow union members and activists need to help send that message.
The decision to mobilize to Worcester from Western Mass follows failed negotiations held last week when the nurses thought they were on the verge of a tentative agreement with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare that includes staffing improvements the nurses need to end the strike and re-enter the hospital to provide care to their community in the face of an emerging new surge of COVID-19 driven by the Delta variant. Unfortunately, the agreement was scuttled by Tenet, as talked ended on Thursday, after the employer refused to guarantee St. Vincent nurses with 10, 20 or even 40 years of experience at the hospital to return to work in their previous positions in a callous effort to retaliate against the nurses for standing up for their patients and their community.
The nurses have been working through the federal mediators to reach an agreement as quickly as possible to get back into the hospital to provide care to their patients and their community, at a time when COVID-19 is surging and overwhelming facilities in Worcester, particularly UMass Memorial Medical Center. This crisis has already been exacerbated by Tenet Healthcare, as the corporation has spent more than $100 million to force and prolong the strike, while at the same time purposefully closing beds and services, deliberately using the suffering of sick patients in Worcester as leverage against the striking nurses.
“Our members have been clear, they are ready to end the strike and provide care, but there was no way they would end the strike unless all nurses went back whole and that no nurse would lose their job because a for-profit corporation decided to retaliate against nurses for exercising their legal right to advocate for safer conditions for their patients and colleagues,” said Marlena Pellegrino, RN, longtime nurse at the hospital and co-chair of the nurses’ local bargaining unit the Massachusetts Nurses Association.