Nurses and administrators at Tufts Medical Center reached an agreement early Friday morning, just a few hours before a strike was to begin.
The final struggle in the negotiations was over the nurses' demand for limits on the number of patients in their care. The Massachusetts Nurses Association wanted a cap at five patients per nurse in most units. The hospital opposed including any fixed number in the contract.
In the end, nurses say they crafted language that will prevent supervisors from assigning more than five patients to one nurse, but the contract does not establish a nurse to patient ratio.
The hospital will add nursing supervisors in the busiest units, limit mandatory overtime, and nurses will receive a 2 percent pay increase.
This program aired on May 6, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.