St. Vincent Hospital Reaches Tentative Agreement With Nurses Association

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WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Early Friday evening, both sides of the second-longest running nurse strike in Massachusetts' history have indicated it may be coming to an end.

Last March, nurses from St. Vincent Hospital walked out of their jobs and onto the picket line.

In a statement from the Massachusetts Nurses Association, officials said that after 285 days and more than forty-three negotiating sessions, "nurses have reached an agreement that guarantees the nurses the right to return to their original positions and provides the improvements in staffing they need to re-enter the hospital."

The MNA said that the tentative agreement was made with the hospital's owner Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare and was settled Friday, at an in-person session meditated by United States Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh after two weeks of discussions with federal mediators.

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The main demands made by the MNA were met, staffing improvements and the guarantee that all seven hundred striking nurses will be allowed to return to work with same position, hours, and shift they worked before the strike. The replacement nurses hired to cover for them will also stay on staff.

"We still have over eighty beds closed, we need as many nurses as we can- so we can open the beds," said St. Vincent Hospital CEO Carolyn Jackson.

If nurses vote to ratify the deal, union leaders said that nurses will be back in the hospital as soon as possible.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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