NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Nurses at one Newburyport hospital are demanding better pay, but are having difficulty getting the administration to listen to their demands.
Nearly 80% of nurses at Anna Jaques Hospital signed a petition for better compensation. The nurses said they have tried to bring the petition to hospital staff several times, but have yet to find success. They tried to present the letter to hospital executive staff on Thursday but were told they were unavailable.
"We've reached out so many times and they are just dropping [the] ball on us and we just don't even know what to think," Registered Nurse Margaret Mirecki told WBZ's Kendall Buhl.
Nurses at the Beth Israel Lahey Health affiliated hospital said they are being compensated less than other area facilities.
"When you're not even close, when your 25% behind neighboring hospitals it's tough to justify staying at that point because you also have a bottom line to your household," said Mirecki.
Anna Jaques Chief Nursing Officer, Richard Maki, said the hospital wages are "market-competitive," in a statement to WBZ NewsRadio.
“Anna Jaques Hospital has provided exceptional care to our patients and the Newburyport community for nearly 140 years. We are deeply proud of the high-quality care we deliver and the talented clinicians and staff who make it possible. Hospitals and healthcare organizations across the country are facing unprecedented workforce challenges. Our wages are market-competitive, and we have robust programs in place to recruit, retain and support our hardworking nurses and other clinical staff,” Chief Nursing Officer Maki said.
Beth Israel Lahey Health says that the current three-year contract between Anna Jaques Hospital and the Massachusetts Nurse Association provides negotiated wage increases in 2023. The contract is in place until the end of 2023.