St. Vincent nurses vote to ratify hospital contracts, ending longest strike in Massachusetts history
WORCESTER, Mass. (WLNE)- The St. Vincents Hospital Nurses have voted yes to ratify their contract agreement with the hospital.
The vote took place throughout the entire day of January 3, starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m.
At the time of the vote, the workers strike has reached 303 days.
”I stand here tonight humbled beyond words by our journey and we are overjoyed to report that our members have cast an overwhelming yes vote to ratify an agreement that officially ends the historic St. Vincent Nurses Strike,” said Marlena Pellegrino, RN, a 35-year nurse at the hospital and co-chair of the nurses local bargaining unit of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. “For nearly 10 months our nurses have walked the line for safer patient care, for the honor of our profession and for the right of all workers who make the difficult decision to engage in a lawful strike to return to their original positions. As we stand here tonight we can proudly say we have achieved our goals.”
“This is an enormous victory for our patients and our members, and it is a testament to the grit and determination of every nurse who walked that line, day in and day out, through four seasons, 18 hours a day, in snow, pouring rain, through blazing heat and stifling humidity – all for the good of our community,” Pellegrino added. “As we conclude this struggle, our eyes are focused on the future, on returning to our home, to the hospital bedside to do what we love the most, which is to provide the high quality care our patients expect and deserve. We go back in that building with our heads held high focused on healing, not only our patients, but to work with all in our hospital community to rebuild and restore a sense of stability, with a commitment to ensure a bright future for St Vincent Hospital.”
“With this agreement we can go back into that building with great pride not just in what we got in writing in the agreement, but for what we have built together as nurses who know they did everything they could for their patients and their community,” said Dominique Muldoon, RN, a nurse at the hospital and co-chair of the bargaining unit.
On December 17, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare reached a tentative agreement with the 700 Nurses on the 285 day of their strike.
This agreement provided the nurses with a return to their former jobs, and provides them with the staffing-concerns they needed to help push back COVID-19.
This agreement comes after two weeks of discussions with federal mediators, and after two years of negotiations with 43 different sessions, it was the longest strike in 15 years nationally, and the longest strike in Massachusetts history.
The final solution came with a “back to work” provision, allowing all nurses to return to their original position, slowly incorporating them back into the hospital and providing them with the support they need.