Community Continues to Choose Saint Vincent Hospital Despite MNA Strike

Apr 7, 2021

Some areas of the hospital are busier than the week before the strike began, and high-quality care will continue

Worcester, MA –  Saint Vincent Hospital is pleased to share that despite the strike against the hospital by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) reaching the one month mark this Thursday, the patient census reflects that the community remains confident in the hospital’s care. With many areas busier than the week before the strike, Saint Vincent continues to provide uninterrupted quality care with the support of a growing number of staff nurses who have crossed the picket line to return to patients’ bedsides.

The number of Saint Vincent nurses who have returned to work is now 129 – 12 more than the 117 on the first day of the strike. That means 16 percent of the nurses have now crossed the picket line to care for patients. This includes two-thirds of Emergency Room nurses who decided to prioritize caring for their patients instead of striking.

“The number of nurses coming back has grown. We are grateful for their courage and dedication to our patients,” said Saint Vincent CEO Carolyn Jackson. “They have considered the arguments of both sides and concluded that the MNA’s rejection of our last offer just doesn’t make sense. In fact, many nurses have told me they were unaware of what was in the offer because MNA leadership was not giving them the detail of the proposal.”

Meanwhile, quality care is continuing at Saint Vincent, and the community continues to choose the hospital for their care. This is demonstrated by several indicators since week 1 of the strike:

  • The hospital has cared for an average of 210 inpatients per day as well as over 950 outpatients per day, with patient volumes increasing over 15% since February
  • The hospital continued all types of surgeries and procedures without disruption, caring for nearly 20% more patients than February
  • Over 160 babies have been born at Saint Vincent Hospital since the strike began
  • The emergency department cared for more patients last week than it did the week before the strike and maintained an average time from arrival to triage of under 10 minutes.
  • The hospital also maintained a fully operational cancer center and continued to accept transfers from other hospitals
  • The number of COVID-19 vaccinations provided by the hospital, including at the Worcester Vaccine Clinic has exceeded 49,000.

“I’m heartened by the commitment to quality, safe care shown by the nurses, both those who have stayed on and defied the MNA as well as the replacement nurses,” said Lisa Beaudry, Chief Nursing Officer of the hospital. “We have had no quality or safety issues that would adversely affect operations, and our care has remained virtually uninterrupted by the strike.”

Observers from the state Department of Public Health and Department of Mental Health have been on site at Saint Vincent Hospital daily since they strike began. They report out daily to hospital administration and continue to see the quality and staffing in compliance with all state regulations.

Jackson said she remains hopeful that the MNA is willing to return to the table to reach a compromise.

“This strike is not going to resolve the issue. Our last offer demonstrated our willingness to propose fair staffing solutions as well as generous wages for nurses. It is difficult to understand why the MNA leadership did not seriously consider it and is not providing its members with more information,” she said.

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