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Latest News - May 2013

May 12, 2013
UMass Medical Center nurses plan to strike on May 23
By: Kevin Koczwara

Registered nurses working at the hospital campuses of UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMMC) issued the required 10-day notice on Friday of their intent to go on strike on Thursday, May 23.

The one-day strike will begin at 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 23 and will end on Friday, May 24 at 6 a.m.

The strike could potentially be the largest nurses' strike in Massachusetts history. More than 2,000 nurses are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

According to a press release from the nurses' union, the decision to issue an official strike notice came after two rounds of contract negotiations with UMass management on last Friday and Monday. The negotiations were the latest attempt to negotiate a new union contract. Negotiations ended without a resolution.

“Our members are tired of working in an environment that they know is unsafe for our patients and they are ready to make a stand on May 23 for the improvements we need to protect them ,” said Margaret McLoughlin, RN, a nurse in the intensive care unit and co-chair of the MNA//NNU local bargaining unit on the University campus. “Our message to the public is very simple; we are prepared to strike for one day to make it safe for you every day.”

According to the nurses' union, nurses and management started negotiations for a new union contract in February 2012 for the University campus nurses and in November 2011 for the Memorial/Hahnemann campus nurses. The nurses’ contracts officially expired on December 31, 2011 and April 5, 2012.

Nurses have offered the mediator and hospital management four negotiating sessions for the days leading up to the strike -- May 14 and May 20 with the Memorial/Hahnemann campus committee and May 15 and 21 with University campus committee. The nurses say they have not yet received confirmation for these negotiation dates.




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