Union Says Tufts Medical Center Nurses Plan to Go On Strike

Strike will begin July 12 and run until July 13 if deal isn't reached

The union that represents 1,200 nurses at Tufts Medical Center in Boston says its members will go on strike this month after the hospital and union officials failed to negotiate a new contract.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association says the strike will begin the morning of July 12 and run until July 13. But hospital officials have said they plan to lock out striking nurses for four additional days while employing temporary workers.

The union says contract negotiations have gone on since April 2016. Concerns have been raised by union officials over "patient safety, lack of resources and lagging compensation."

“We do not want to strike," said Mary Havlicek Cornacchia, an OR nurse and bargaining unit co-chair. "But management has left us with no other choice. They won’t hear us. They don’t believe us when we say that the contract improvements we are fighting for are necessary in order to keep patients safe, and in order to keep Tufts Medical Center competitive in a city full of top-notch hospitals."

The strike can still be avoided if a deal is reached in the next 10 days.

Tufts CEO Michael Wager called the planned strike "extremely disappointing."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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