After failing to reach a contract agreement on Tuesday night, nurses at Tufts Medical Center, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, say they will conduct a one-day strike on Wednesday.
The strike, which will involve more than 1,200 registered nurses, will begin at 7 a.m. and run until 6:59 a.m. on Thursday.
Officials at Tufts met with the Massachusetts Nurses Association at a federal mediator's office on Tuesday for a final attempt at avoiding a strike but the two sides could not come to an agreement.
“We came to the table today hoping to reach an agreement, but Tufts management is determined to force a strike and a subsequent lock out of our nurses,” said Mary Havlicek Cornacchia, an OR nurse and bargaining unit co-chair. “This decision really shows administration’s lack of respect for its nurses and for the safety our patients.”
Nurses are seeking improvements in staffing levels, pension benefits and an increase in salary.
Tufts Medical Center released a statement on the strike saying, "The MNA had an opportunity to reach an agreement tonight; they instead chose to strike and have our nurses walk out on patients. We went to the table today and offered a path forward that met the needs of our nurses.
The union recycled their retirement proposal that is risky for nurses and expensive for the hospital. We have more than 320 experienced nurses here to care for patients beginning tomorrow morning. We will deliver the same exceptional care that we always have at Tufts Medical Center."
Tufts officials had said if nurses didn’t show up for work on Wednesday, they would not be allowed to work for the following four days when the strike was over, because the replacement nurses coming in required a minimum five days of work.
The strike will be the first one by nurses in Boston in over 30 years, and the largest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts history.