MNA to Return to the Table at Saint Vincent Hospital’s RequestApr 30, 2021
Hospital remains willing to compromise and will present an alternate staffing proposal
Worcester, MA – April 30, 2021 – Saint Vincent Hospital requested, through the federal mediator, that the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) return to the table so it can present an alternate proposal to try to reach an agreement. The MNA agreed to meet Saturday, May 1, even though the union did not formally respond to or offer a counterproposal the hospital’s last offer on April 26.
“We made it clear to the mediator that we are willing to return to the table at any time to resolve the strike and agree on a contract,” said Carolyn Jackson, CEO of Saint Vincent Hospital. “Despite the union’s rejection of the last two attempts by the hospital to compromise on staffing, we plan to offer one more solution. Negotiations are about compromise, and we are hopeful the MNA will be reasonable and work with us to bring this strike to an end to benefit our nurses, patients and community.”
On March 3, the union rejected the hospital’s offer to implement a 4:1 ratio on two additional floors, and to adopt COVID staffing in addition to the generous compensation and benefits offer. The union shared a counter that made no changes to the union’s previous staffing proposal and proceeded with the strike rather than engage in good faith negotiations.
On Monday, April 26, the hospital added to the staffing proposal a quarterly audit committee as well as expedited arbitration language to address claims by the MNA that the hospital doesn’t comply with staffing guidelines. The arbitration process was taken directly from the MNA’s staffing proposal. In addition, the Hospital’s proposal retained all prospective portions of its economic offer, including generous wage increases and improved healthcare benefits, as well as retroactive pay back to January 2021. The MNA concluded the session 60 minutes after receiving the proposal by saying it would discuss the proposal with the nurses. However, the union has since publicly rejected it in the media and urged members to continue the strike.
The Hospital remains hopeful that the MNA will place the interests of its members and our community above its own agenda and will come to the table on May 1 ready to accept the generous proposal Saint Vincent Hospital feels complies with their requests. The meeting is expected to take place at 2:30 pm.