From picket line to ballot box, nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester weigh in on contract

Sadye Matula

WORCESTER — St. Vincent Clinic nurses overwhelmingly ratified a new deal Monday, officially ending the 300-as well as-day nurses strike. “We have achieved our target,” Marlena Pellegrino, a nurse on the bargaining committee, declared to a crowd of nurses, politicians and media Monday night soon after the votes experienced been solid and counted. Nurses […]

WORCESTER — St. Vincent Clinic nurses overwhelmingly ratified a new deal Monday, officially ending the 300-as well as-day nurses strike.

“We have achieved our target,” Marlena Pellegrino, a nurse on the bargaining committee, declared to a crowd of nurses, politicians and media Monday night soon after the votes experienced been solid and counted.

Nurses voted 487-9 in favor of ratification 502 ballots have been forged, with three ballots remaining blank and a few contested ballots.

Nurses at St. Vincent Healthcare facility had been on strike given that March 8 about staffing and then, the moment that difficulty was resolved, a return-to-perform agreement that authorized putting nurses to return to their previous work.

The nurses, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and Dallas-primarily based Tenet Health care, owner and operator of St. Vincent, came to a tentative arrangement previous month soon after additional than 9 months of a strike, the longest such strike in state historical past.

Aided by previous Boston mayor, now U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Martin Walsh, the sides tentatively agreed to a agreement that set new staffing suggestions on a lot of of the hospital’s wards and allowed nurses to return to their prior work.

Nurses from St. Vincent Hospital vote Monday whether to accept a new contract. Longtime nurse and bargaining committee co-chair Marlena Pellegrino, seated left, and ICU nurse Laurie Spahl, handed ballots to nurses at Teamsters Local 170 headquarters on Southwest Cutoff in Worcester.

Nurses cheered outdoors the Teamsters Area 170 headquarters Monday night as their colleague Dominique Muldoon, also a member of the bargaining committee, examine off some of the conditions of the new agreement. These contain: staffing additions in many areas to realize a 4-to-1 patient-to-nurse ratio resource nurses on practically every unit a metal detector in the emergency division and police facts to boost nurse safety better health and fitness treatment rewards for portion-time personnel and more.

Supporters of the nurses spoke of the deal as a victory not just for the nurses, but also as a victory for affected individual care and organized labor.

Voting by nurses lasted all day Monday. A Massachusetts Nurses Association member brings food to the voting site, Teamsters Local 170 office on Southwest Cutoff.

Rep. McGovern: ‘Patient safety’

“We in the community owe you a personal debt of gratitude,” US Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, stated just after currently being launched by Muldoon as a “hero, pal, and honorary St. Vincent nurse.”

“This was by no means about you. it was about affected individual basic safety,” McGovern ongoing. “This is a victory for you. This is a victory for the local community.”

State Rep. Mary Keefe agreed.

“I’m so proud of Worcester, so happy of the MNA, and so proud of all of you,” Keefe mentioned to cheers.

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