The registered nurses of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester were forced by a giant for-profit corporation to begin an open-ended strike on March 8 as we advocate for safer staffing and safer patient care conditions during the pandemic and beyond.
We have been trying for more than two years to convince our employer, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, to provide desperately needed improvement to staffing and patient care conditions at our hospital, conditions that have only been made worse during the pandemic. In the last year alone, nurses have filed more than 500 official “unsafe staffing” reports where they informed management in real time that patient care conditions jeopardized the safety of their patients.
Our nurses report experiencing an increase in patient falls, an increase in patients suffering from preventable bed sores, potentially dangerous delays in patients receiving needed medications and other treatments – all due to lack of appropriate staffing, excessive patient assignments, and cuts to valuable support staff. As a result of these untenable conditions, more than 100 nurses have left the facility, many to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, which employs many of the staffing practices the nurses are attempting to establish through this negotiation.
WAYS TO HELP
LAWN SIGNS AND BUTTONS
Stop by the Strike HQ at 11 E. Central St. in Worcester and pick up “We Support the St. Vincent Nurses” lawn signs and buttons – take as many as you need for yourself, your organization and family and friends. Wear your buttons wherever you go! (Use the form below to request lawn signs).
ADOPT A DAY ON THE LINE!
Picketing during the strike will take place from 6AM-12AM. Your family, organization or union can help us to maintain a robust picket line by adopting a day on the line. It’s such a kick for the nurses to have folks join them. Please let Sandy Ellis know if you have a group that can adopt-a-day and what day and time. Sandy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Help keep the media coverage alive by sending a letter to the editor in support of the nurses’ fight for patient safety and calling on Tenet Corp to get to the table and settle a contract that includes the protections patients and nurses deserve. Click here for guidelines on how to submit a letter to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.