Nurses, Hospital to Make Last-Ditch Effort to Avoid Strike | NECN
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Nurses, Hospital to Make Last-Ditch Effort to Avoid Strike

The groups are trying to agree on wages, time-off benefits, staffing levels and the length of the new contract

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    Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and its nurse's union will make a last-ditch effort to avoid a strike Friday as both sides will meet over a new contract. (Published Friday, June 24, 2016)

    Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and its nurse's union are making a last-ditch effort to avoid a strike as both sides meet over a new contract.

    The Boston Globe reports the union could hold a one-day strike Monday if an agreement isn't reached.

    The groups are trying to agree on wages, time-off benefits, staffing levels and the length of the new contract. More than 3,000 nurses at the hospital have been trying to negotiate new contracts.

    The hospital says it would lock nurses out for four additional days and use temporary workers.

    Colleen Casey, whose mother will be undergoing surgery on Monday, is worried.

    "She's been here for eight weeks and we've had amazing nursing care," she said. "Our biggest concern is the fact that she won’t get the same care."

    Sandy Ferrigan, meanwhile, says her daughter in law was induced early because of the strike.

    "They told her they were going to have to strike and they wanted to make sure there was nurses here to take care of her and my grandson," Sandy Ferrigan said.

    Contract negotiations have gone on for the past nine months.

    The hospital released a statement that said in part, "We sincerely hope that we can reach a fair and reasonable contract and avoid a strike. Our focus, however, remains on providing safe, high-quality care to our patients, and we will be ready to do so should a strike occur," said Ron M. Walls, MD, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brigham and Women's Health Care.

    The statement added, "The leadership team and the entire BWH community have the utmost respect for our nurses and the incredible care they deliver each day."

    "We raised our concern this morning to the doctors saying is this going to be the best thing for our mom," said Casey. "They said they had quality people coming in. We don’t necessarily agree with that."

    "I think the regular nurses should be here to take care of her the way that the nurses are taking care of her now," Ferrigan said of her daughter in law. "They should be here to see her through her whole process."

    If nurses do strike, it would be the first in 30 years and the largest ever in Massachusetts.

    Friday's negotiating session ended without an agreement, the hospital announced. Both sides plan to reconvene Saturday.


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