Tufts nurses launch one-day strike

Tufts Medical Center is breaking and setting a new record for heart transplants in the New England area

Tufts Medical Center is breaking and setting a new record for heart transplants in the New England area

Hundreds of nurses at Tufts Medical Center are set to end their strike early Thursday, but that does not mean they'll be going back to work just yet.

The hospital said it was required to hire the replacement nurses for five days and had already notified the union that if they went on strike, the hospital would use the replacements until Monday. "This decision really shows administration's lack of respect for its nurses and for the safety our patients".

Rallies are planned outside the hospital at noon and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which said nurses scheduled to work "plan to enter Tufts to care for their patients" on Thursday morning despite the hospital's plans to lock out striking nurses for four days. They said the nurses were aware of the five-day work contract for the temporary nurses. In the meantime, the strike has cost Tufts about $6 million.

Helen Keaney told the paper that working conditions began deteriorating "probably seven or eight years ago", with fewer nurses taking care of more patients. "But make no mistake, we will continue to provide exceptional patient care", hospital president and CEO Michae Wagner said in a statement. We have to act in a moment's notice.

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The hospital hired 320 replacement nurses in preparation for a strike.

More than 1,200 nurses participated in the 1-day strike in Boston over such issues as staffing level- and pension benefit-improvement, and salary increases.

The union says Tufts nurses have the lowest pay and the worst pension in the city. "Traditionally we've caved", said Mary Havlicek Cornacchia. "They leave holes on schedules".

Tufts Medical Center nurses are locked out of their jobs after they ended their 24-hour strike but continued to picket. "It's no longer acceptable".

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