WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Around 800 nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester went on strike Monday morning to push back against “unsafe staffing.”
The workers walked out at 6 a.m.
A registered nurse and co-chair of the local bargaining unit of the Massachusetts Nurses Association said, “This is a strike for the safety of our patients and our community.”
In the last year, over 600 official reports have been filed by nurses about the issue.
The nurses reported that there have been a series of issues in the hospital due to “lack of appropriate staffing, excessive patient assignments, and cuts to valuable support staff.
The Massachusetts Nurse Association voted to authorize the strike on Feb. 10 and later issued a notice to conduct an open-ended strike.
Bill Lahey, a nurse at the hospital, told WBZ NewsRadio he doesn’t think the nurses are “going to budge.”
Saint Vincent, which is owned by Tenet Healthcare, called the strike “irresponsible” in the middle of a pandemic.
“This strike will only exacerbate divisiveness during a critical stage of the COVID-19 pandemic when we should be coming together to care for our patients and community,” the company said in a statement.
This is the second strike from Saint Vincent Hospital nurses; there was a successful 49-day strike in 2000 to limit mandatory overtime.
The nurses said their strike will last all day until midnight and will continue each day until there is an agreement.
WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports: