Tufts Medical Center Nurses To Strike May 6

A one-day strike by nurses protesting staffing levels is set
A one-day strike by nurses protesting staffing levels is set

“We are very disappointed and angered by our administration’s failure to engage in a real negotiation to avoid a strike,” said Barbara Tiller, RN, chair of the nurses’ local bargaining unit, in a staement. “Management continues to turn a deaf ear to the concerns of nurses and a blind eye to the suffering of our patients. While none of us wants to strike, we are ready and willing to do so in defense of our patients and the future of nursing at Tufts Medical Center.”

In response, Tufts Medical Center management said it is prepared for the strike and will continue to provide "high quality care to patients." In a statement issued Monday, the Medical Center said that it "learned today that it will be one of five hospitals facing strikes by NNU [the national nurses union] affiliates in that same week, along with St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Children’s Hospital Oakland (Calif.), Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and Range Regional Health Services in Hibbing, Minn.

“The idea of National Nurses United taking five hospitals out on strike in one week proves they are focused on their national agenda and not on the patient care at these hospitals,” said Ellen Zane, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center, said in the statement. “We are extremely disappointed that they would take this reckless, national approach in Massachusetts and in Boston. It is clear that this is a selfish, self-serving agenda designed to increase MNA/NNU membership, and thus generate more union dues. What is reprehensible is they are using our nurses as pawns in their scheme. It appears – as we suspected from last November when we initiated negotiations - that they had no intention of reaching agreement with us and only sought to line up several hospitals for strikes to gain publicity. Tufts Medical Center is committed to serving its patients and community, and we will continue to deliver high-quality care throughout any walkout.”

Zane emphasized that the hospital will provide outstanding care during the strike in which it will bring in other nurses to care for patients along with the entire care team at Tufts Medical Center, including physicians, nursing technicians, pharmacists, social workers and many other dedicated professionals.

This program aired on April 26, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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