Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

May 12, 2021

Saint Vincent to start permanently replacing striking nurses

Photo | Grant Welker Nurses picketing outside Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester

Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester on Wednesday said it will start permanently replacing the members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association union, in a sign the 66-day fight over staffing ratios is reaching a long-term impasse.

If their position is permanently filled, striking MNA nurses will no longer be able to return immediately to work at the hospital once the strike ends. Instead, they will be placed on a preferred hire list and be eligible to return once vacancies arise.

The MNA has 800 members at Saint Vincent, although about 140 have crossed the picket line to continue working at the hospital, according to Saint Vincent. Their work at the hospital has been supplemented by temporary hires.

Saint Vincent said in the first round of hiring, 50 nurse positions will be filled, as a way to reduce the cost of having the temporary replacement nurses. The rest of the role vacated by striking MNA nurses will be filled by non-striking nurses or temporary replacement nurses.

The main cause of the strike at Saint Vincent has been over the nurse-to-patient ratios at the hospital, which the MNA says the facility's for-profit parent company, Tenet Healthcare of Dallas, can more than afford to insure patient safety. Saint Vincent has said its ratios are in line with other hospitals, although in the latest round of negotiations with the MNA on May 5, the hospital did offer to change the language its in agreement to be more in line with the staffing ratio policy at UMass Memorial Health, which is the main healthcare provider in Greater Worcester. The MNA counterproposal to that staffing language change, which included other demands, was rejected by the hospital.

Sign up for Enews

WBJ Web Partners

Related Content


May 12, 2021
Good for management. It's time.
May 12, 2021

Good for hospital management. It’s time.

Order a PDF