By Joe Herosy
Boston DSA, Worcester DSA, and Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) members joined the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) in Worcester on Monday to stand out for the healthcare workers at Saint Vincent Hospital. Present were two members of the BDSA Labor Working Group who are also members of the MTA.
It was great to see our comrades and the good cheer helped keep the cold at bay. One healthcare worker, the partner of an MTA educator who was there in support, reported that he had been threatened with termination due to organizing. It was encouraging that MNA members were out picketing in force along with allies to help protect this worker and his comrades.
Nurses voted overwhelmingly on 2/10/21 to authorize their committee to call for a strike should Tenet management continue to refuse to work with the nurses to address the severe patient safety crisis. Nurses report an increase in patient falls, 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.
Dallas based Tenet Healthcare issued its “last, best and final” offer on Jan. 28, failing to include any proposal to address the crisis. On Feb.11, the MNA adjusted their staffing proposal to help reach a settlement but Tenet once again refused to negotiate. Nurses are planning strike logistics including securing a strike headquarters near the hospital. They are required to provide the hospital with at least 10 days’ notice ahead of the action. Click here for the latest MNA news on the strike.
Tenet recently announced annual profits of more than $400 million. This corporation used furloughs and staffing cuts, along with nearly $3 billion dollars in taxpayer funded CARES Act funding to boost its profits for shareholders and “improve its cash position.”
Boston DSA stands in solidarity with the Saint Vincent healthcare workers in their demands to protect the wellbeing of patients, nurses, and the entire community from capitalist greed. The picket will continue each day this week from 3:30 – 4:30 PM at 123 Summer St, Worcester, MA (across from the post office parking lot).
Joe Herosy is a retired teacher and a member of the MTA. He organizes with South Shore Education Justice Alliance and Boston DSA.