Saint Vincent Hospital Addresses Bullying by the MNA

March 14, 2021
Massachusetts Nurses Association
340 Turnpike Street
Canton, Massachusetts 02021
Attention: Wendy McGill, Associate Director of Labor Relations

Dear Ms. McGill:

Nine days ago, as the MNA was preparing to start its strike against Saint Vincent Hospital on March 8, I wrote to you to call the union’s attention to several recent incidents of bullying and intimidation by union representatives and members related to the strike and negotiations with the hospital.

I called on the MNA to join us in stating that this type of behavior is not appropriate and not conducive to reaching a resolution of the strike and agreement on a new contract. I was hopeful that this would head off any future incidents.

Sadly, that has not happened. In the days since the start of the strike, we have seen countless incidents of bullying, intimidation, threats and harassment. Members of your organization went on the record stating that the only thing that would happen to people who crossed the picket line was having listing their names on your internal Facebook page to know the ‘strength of the strike’. That is far from the truth.

The incidents include the following:
  • Texting pictures of wounds to nurses from burner phones as a way of calling them ‘scabs’.
  • Photographing license plates of cars of nurses who crossed the picket line.
  • Yelling ‘I know where you park’ to nurse managers as they drive into the garage.
  • Finding out the time of arrival for the ‘hero scab of the day’ so that you can ‘show her some real MNA love’ when she arrives.
  • Directing your picketers that only those who are willing to hurl insults and yell are welcome to picket during shift change.
Other actions taken by your bargaining committee and members are reprehensible:
  • Telling a boy and his father who were coming for a pre-sleep study COVID test that they would die if they entered the hospital.
  • Blocking the husband of one of your striking nurses from coming to a cardiology appointment.
  • Yelling racist remarks at a delivery driver of color while pulling into the loading dock.
  • Posting the location of the hotel where some of the travel nurses are staying, and calling numerous times to threaten the manager.
  • Shining a bright flashlight into the eyes of employees driving into the parking garage this morning.
Page 4 of the MNA’s ‘St. Vincent Hospital Nurses Strike Handbook’ contains a ‘Picketing Dos and Don’ts’ section. One of the lines is ‘Do not block or interfere with patients, families, friends and visitors’. Your bargaining committee members and nurses have violated this each and every day since March 8th when the strike began. If you truly believed in safe patient care, this is one thing that you would change immediately.

The incidents that I outlined above and countless others serve no positive purpose and should stop immediately. They should be strongly – and unanimously – condemned. In addition to having a negative impact on the bargaining process, they risk jeopardizing the safety of our staff and the patients we serve.

It also does not reflect well on the MNA or the current contract negotiations, and it will only result in a more divisive work environment in the future. We respect the rights of our nurses to be members of their union and to voice their opinions, but opinions and disagreements should be addressed in an appropriate, respectful and safe manner. That would help us reach agreement and focus on our common goals rather than continuing the divisive rhetoric.

I ask once again for your agreement that such behavior will not be tolerated and request further that you and other MNA leaders reiterate this position in public comments whenever possible.

Thank you for your attention and anticipated cooperation.

Sincerely,
Carolyn Jackson Signature
Carolyn Jackson
Chief Executive Officer