Thank you to everyone in our community- individuals, organizations, businesses and schools- who have supported us during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your generosity and kind words are greatly appreciated by the entire Saint Vincent Hospital Family.
- Carolyn Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Saint Vincent Hospital
As we care for our community and battle the pandemic, we are disappointed that the MNA has walked away from the negotiating table and plans to hold a strike beginning March 8. Our hospital will remain fully operational and our patients will be cared for by qualified replacement nurses and other caregivers.
Over the 17-months of negotiations, we listened attentively to our nurses and made multiple successive and increasing offers to the MNA. We presented the best proposal in ten years that comprehensively addresses wages, including increases as high as 22% for some nurses, and increases to differentials, benefits improvements of up to $4600 for part time nurses in out of pocket premium costs, additional nursing roles, and enhanced ER security.
This offer has been shared with community leaders and stakeholders, who have agreed it is fair and generous.
We have one of the few contracts in the Commonwealth with staffing guidelines. These guidelines are already comparable to or better than those at peer hospitals, including many that are well-known brands for world-class medical care. Since Monday of this week (before the strike notice was issued), MNA leadership has been aware that Saint Vincent Hospital has been willing to return to the negotiating table to discuss further concessions on staffing. Instead of listening to the proposal or agreeing to meet, the MNA has issued a strike notice. Accordingly, between now and March 8th, Saint Vincent will be focusing its efforts on preparing for the strike.
We believe a strike is irresponsible in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. It is now very clear that the MNA’s agenda during our negotiations has been to use Saint Vincent Hospital, its own nurse members and the Worcester community as pawns to advance their previously failed ballot initiative on mandated staffing ratios rather than negotiate in good faith.