WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Hundreds of nurses on strike at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester are going back to the negotiating table this week.
The nurses, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), have now been on strike for 137 days -- marking the longest strike from nurses in the U.S. in the last decade.
Among other concerns, the group has mainly been pushing for a new contract that improves staffing levels at the hospital, owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare.
"The St. Vincent Hospital nurses last met with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare for negotiations July 9," the union said in a statement. "Tenet failed to address needed staffing improvements in key areas that the nurses need to end the strike and re-enter the hospital to provide the care their patients require."
The nurses have said that unsafe staffing levels, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, can threaten patient safety and increase things like patient accidents or falls.
Representatives from MNA and Tenet Healthcare will be joined by a federal mediator for negotiation talks on July 22 and July 23 in hopes of reaching an agreement to end the strike.
"The parties are scheduled to meet from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, where the MNA will present a comprehensive proposal that they hope can move the process forwards to a settlement," the union said.
Nurses will continue to picket while talks take place and until a final agreement is reached.
WBZ’s John Baibak (@JohnBaibak) reports.