Our Message to the Community

Dear neighbors and community members,

During this pandemic, we are laser-focused on stepping up to the challenge of COVID-19 as well as continuing to provide quality day-to-day care to a wide range of patients.

That’s why I am especially disappointed that the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), the union that represents our nurses, has walked away from the negotiating table and plans to go on strike beginning March 8.

In the last few weeks, a lot has been said on the status of the negotiations and our offer, some of it incorrect. I’d like to set the record straight.

Our negotiations. We have negotiated in good faith with the MNA for 17 months. We have listened to their concerns and made many improvements to the contract we are offering. Despite getting a strike notice, we have let it be known to the MNA that we are willing to return to the table to discuss further concessions in an effort to avert a strike.

Our offer. We believe our latest offer is comprehensive and generous. Our offer covers additional nursing roles, security, compensation, and other important benefits, including healthcare. Of note, it includes wage increases of 5% to 22% for nurses, a bonus recognizing 2020 efforts and other wage increases. The offer also includes benefit increases that result in some nurses saving up to $4,600 in medical insurance premiums each year.

Our staffing. We currently 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. Our offer supports staffing to these guidelines by keeping us competitive in retaining and recruiting nurses.

Our quality. We take great pride in the quality of care we provide. US News and World Report recognized Saint Vincent Hospital in their 2020-2021 rankings as a Best Regional Hospital. SVH also is ranked as the 8th best hospital in Massachusetts, which also represents a tie for the best community hospital in the state.

Our impact. We are proud of our longstanding positive impact on the community. We cared for over 221,000 patients in 2020. We have given over 13,000 COVID vaccines, and that number continues to grow, especially now that our new vaccine clinic is open at Worcester State University. We also are one of the largest taxpayers in Worcester.

Our promise. At Saint Vincent, our culture is based on the integrity of our hospital and our people. We are a community anchor, and we understand the honor and responsibility that comes with that. We prioritize quality and safety in every interaction, and we treat everyone with respect. We never compromise on this – not ever.

While we are hopeful that the MNA leaders will thoughtfully reconsider their position, we need to be prepared for any eventuality. We are therefore focused on preparations to ensure that we continue to provide quality care to the community in the event of a strike, including arrangements for replacement nursing staff. This will enable us to abide by our longstanding promise to take the best possible care of our community each and every day for 127 years and counting.

Carolyn Jackson

Carolyn Jackson Signature

Carolyn Jackson
CEO of Saint Vincent Hospital

 

 

 

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