Mass. Nurses Association

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Tufts Medical Center, Nurses Head To The Bargaining Table

Tufts Medical Center nurses picketed last week for 'safe staffing'

Tufts Medical Center and the Massachusetts Nurses Association plan to meet tomorrow to try to hammer out a labor contract that has had both sides up in arms and hurling nasty accusations at each other. Tufts Medical nurses say patient care has deteriorated to dangerous levels as management has reduced the RN staff in key units. The hospital says patient care remains strong and that the union has ginned up false charges as a negotiating tactic. (Read more of CommonHealth’s coverage here.)

In advance of tomorrow’s talks, Tufts Medical Center put out this press release:

Boston – Tufts Medical Center today called on the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) to respect patients and their families by not threatening a strike and moving forward on their negotiations with Tufts Medical Center together. The MNA’s continued pickets, strike threats and other nonproductive tactics, which are often used to enhance the union’s business goals, have been disruptive and are in direct conflict with the union’s own claims regarding the importance of patient safety and quality of care.

In 2009, the MNA became a part of National Nurses United (NNU), a 160,000-member union known for its aggressive tactics around the nation. Since that time, the NNU has been pursuing a national strike strategy in an attempt to secure mandatory staffing ratios, a proposal which has failed legislatively in Massachusetts for the past 15 years. In the past several months alone, the NNU has threatened or carried out strikes in dozens of hospitals around the nation, including in California, Maine, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington DC, Minnesota and Massachusetts. This tactic unnecessarily increases health care costs and, most importantly, places patients and their families in the middle of a union’s business goals. Continue reading