It's been 112 days of walking the picket line outside Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, but striking nurses are still not satisfied with the latest proposal from hospital officials.
Those nurses are mulling over a new proposal from Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, which they claim isn't a serious proposal.
"While the nurses had hoped this would be a good faith effort to resume negotiation, upon reviewing the proposal that was clearly not the case and appears to be another public relations ploy by Tenet, needlessly prolonging the strike to avoid accountability for making needed staffing improvements," the Massachusetts Nurses Association said in a statement.
The proposal is the first made by the hospital since the nurses walked away from the table on May 5. The nurses are slated to meet with members of the bargaining unit Monday to review the proposal and the committee will be preparing a counterproposal to present to management on Tuesday.
Saint Vincent hospital officials said their offer includes a generous raise, more security and even cheaper health care for some nurses. Officials also said that they'd boost staffing and limit how many patients each nurse could take on, which is in line with what nurses have been asking for.
Marlena Pellegrino, a longtime nurse at St. Vincent Hospital and co-chair of the nurses local bargaining unit, called the proposal, "one step forward and two steps back."
The Massachusetts Nursing Association argued that the proposal does not meaningfully improve staffing, and that it could actually make the situation worse in some cases,
Hospital officials said that the offer is more generous than what some other unions in the nursing industry are settling for all around the state.