More than 1200 nurses at Boston hospital start strike

Hospital

More than 1,200 nurses at Tufts Medical Center went on strike after last-minute negotiations between the union that represents them and the Boston hospital were unsuccessful.

Tufts nurses are the lowest paid in the city by $9 an hour, nurses told the Boston Business Journal.

The MNA said nurses want improvements in staffing levels, salary increases, and an enhanced pension benefit.

The strike began Wednesday at 7 a.m. and is meant to go until 6:59 a.m. on Thursday, making it a one-day strike, the union said.

Shortly before the Wednesday morning strike began outside Tufts Medical Center, nurses working third shift were escorted out of the hospital.

It's the first nurses strike in Boston in more than 30 years. "We will deliver the same exceptional care that we always have at Tufts Medical Center". "#WeArePrepared", a tweet from the hospital's account reads.

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The MNA also said Tufts management proposed freezing the benefit pension plan for approximately 350 RNs and implementing what they call a complex catch up mechanism as part of a proposed higher-risk 403 (b) matching program.

"We've offered raises of 5 percent on top of a 5 percent step raise for nurses who are relatively junior", Weingart said. The union recycled their retirement proposal that is risky for nurses and expensive for the hospital.

"It can take several weeks to train even an experienced nurse to provide quality care under normal conditions in a new hospital setting", said Havlicek Cornacchia in a statement.

The hospital hired 320 replacement nurses in preparation for a strike.

Nurses say the hospital needs to adjust their priorities and put patients and staff first.

"The MNA had a choice to support patient safety - they instead chose to call on our nurses to walk out on patients".

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