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March 20, 2021

Saint Vincent reaches agreement with technician union

Photo | Grant Welker Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester

Saint Vincent Hospital has reached the two-week mark in a high-profile nurses strike, but it's reached an agreement with a smaller union representing patient care assistants, housekeepers and others.

The Worcester hospital said Saturday it reached a contract agreement with the local branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has about 600 employees at Saint Vincent. Other roles include critical care technicians, radiology assistants, operating room aides and pulmonary technicians.

The Worcester Business Journal reported Friday the two sides had reached a tentative agreement less than a week after UFCW workers began picketing alongside Massachusetts Nurses Association members who've been on strike since March 8. UFCW's contract with Saint Vincent expired at the end of February. Terms of the new agreement weren't disclosed.

"This agreement is a testament to the collaborative relationship between our hospital and the UFCW, and we look forward to continuing in this collaborative manner," the hospital said in a statement. "We are especially pleased with the mutual respect clause in our new contract that ensures everyone will treat each other with respect and dignity at all times."

That type of relationship is not in place with the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which has alleged that Saint Vincent's corporate greed has kept the hospital from increasing staff-to-patient ratios. The hospital says those ratios are already favorable compared to many other hospitals.

The UFCW said Friday it still stands in support of the local Massachusetts Nurses Association members.

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