UMass Memorial Univ. Campus Nurses Strike Still Looming
Monday, May 20, 2013
The hospital had released the following statement on Friday:
We regret to inform you that the MNA-University bargaining unit has not revoked its strike notice for May 23. Therefore, under the terms of the contract we have with the replacement staffing agency, we had to transfer today over $4 million to the agency to provide nurses for the University Campus strike scheduled May 23.
As I have said in my previous communications to our nurses, the last, best and final offer that we made to both bargaining units, and which the MNA-Memorial/Hahnemann bargaining team accepted last night, is no longer available for our University Campus nurses. Instead, their offer contains a decreased economic package which reflects the cost of having to bring in replacement nurses for a minimum of five days. This is disappointing because our offer was fair and we had hoped it would have put an end to the negotiations.
Over the coming days, I will be sending you information about our work to reduce the number of inpatients on the University Campus. I can assure you that we will continue provide excellent and safe care for our patients during the five-day period.
Visit http://www.umassmemorialchange.org to review the last, best and final offer to the University Campus nurses.
Eric Dickson, MD
Nurses Had Indicated Meeting Imminent
In a statement released Friday as well, nurses appeared to believe a meeting would take place today pertaining to mediation.
"After 20 hours of talks with a federal mediator, we are pleased to report that the UMass Memorial/Hahnemann nurses’ negotiating committee has reached a tentative agreement with management on a new two-year contract that includes long-sought improvements in staffing with limits on nurse patient assignments and a commitment to hire a significant number of nurses to improve patient care conditions at the facility, while also protecting the nurses’ benefit package . With the agreement the notice to strike for Memorial/Hahnemann nurses has been lifted for May 23.
We are not sharing the specific details of the agreement at this time to allow time for the members to review the pact prior to a soon to be scheduled vote for ratification.
The nurses on the UMass Memorial Medical Center University campus have yet to reach an agreement, with talks scheduled on Monday with the federal mediator, where we hope UMass management can provide the staffing improvements these nurses need to keep their patients safe. The strike notice for the University nurses is still in effect for May 23."
On April 11, nurses at UMass Memorial Medical Center voted by an 83 percent margin to hold a one-day strike, following demands for better staffing levels and benefit concessions.