RNs - Massachusetts

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Holy Family nurses vote to join union

Julie M. Donnelly, Boston Business Journal, July 12, 2011 Steward Holy Family Hospital’s 357 nurses voted late Monday to join the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United (MNA/NNU). Holy Family in Methuen is the sixth hospital owned by for-profit parent Steward Health Care whose nurses have joined the union. The MNA says it represents more than 2,000 registered nurses and other workers at Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Norwood Hospital, Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton and Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill. “When nurses are organized, patients are the biggest beneficiaries,” MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams said in a statement.The vote to unionize was 70 percent to 30 percent.

Steward Holy Family Hospital RNs Vote by 70 Percent for Union Representation by MNA

Massachusetts Nurses Association, July 12, 2011 Methuen - Culminating a two-year effort to win union representation to improve patient care, registered nurses at Steward Holy Family Hospital voted last night by 70 percent to join the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United (MNA/NNU), the state and nation’s pre-eminent organization of RNs. The campaign gained momentum when the MNA and Steward Health Care, the new for-profit owner of the system, entered an organizing agreement in October 2010. Under the agreement management remained neutral in the months leading up to the union election and assured a process to maintain accurate communication with employees. ... Steward

Judge sides with nurses against Cambridge Health Alliance

Galen Moore, Boston Business Journal, July 12, 2011

In a setback for the operator of three hospitals in Cambridge, a Middlesex County Superior Court Judge on Monday sided with a nurse's union, prohibiting the Cambridge Health Alliance from raising the health insurance contribution rates paid by retired nurses.

Affiliated with Harvard Medical School, the Cambridge Health Alliance operates three campuses in Cambridge. The Massachusetts Nurses Association had sued for declaratory judgment and permanent injunctive relief, asking the court to require the alliance to maintain the same health insurance contribution rate for its retired nurses that is offered to other members of the City of Cambridge's retirement system.

Municipal health: A solid agreement for cities (sic)

Boston Globe Editorial, July 12, 2011 Fiscally responsible town managers finally have the tools they need to control the cost of providing health care to municipal employees. It’s been a long battle with labor unions, but one worth up to $100 million in annual savings for cities and towns. Governor Patrick is expected to sign a budget provision today that will allow municipal managers to place their workers in the less-costly Group Insurance Commission plan for state workers, or a similar health insurance plan. Labor unions will maintain a voice at the collective-bargaining table, but not the veto power to block ... Municipal

Judge says Cambridge Hospital can’t cut nurses’ retirement benefits

Robert Weisman, Boston Globe, July 11, 2011 A state Superior Court judge has ruled that the owner of Cambridge Hospital can’t move forward with its plan to cut retiree health benefits for 289 nurses, a decision being hailed as a victory by the Massachusetts Nurses Association. The ruling, which parent company Cambridge Health Alliance is likely to appeal, could lead to the resumption of stalled contract negotiations between the hospital group and the union. Talks broke down last year over the proposed benefit cuts for retirees. ... Judge

Superior Court Judge Issues Ruling to Protect Retiree Health Benefit of Cambridge Hospital’s RNs

Ruling Enjoins CHA from Any Attempt to Cut That Benefit in the Future. Court Decision is the Latest in the Series of Decisions Denying CHA’s Illegal Attempts to Slash Nurses’ Retire Health Benefit, Which was Guaranteed Under the State Law that Created the Cambridge Health Alliance. Massachusetts Nurses Association, July 11, 2011 Cambridge – In complete victory for the nurses of Cambridge Hospital, a Middlesex County Superior Court judge issued a ruling that prevents Cambridge Health Alliance from making, or even proposing cuts to the nurses’ retiree health benefit - something they have been trying to do for over a year. ... Superior

Cape Cod Hospital, Nurses Ratify Contract

A new three-year contract is approved - a step in the right direction according to the MNA leader on Cape Cod. Jennifer Simckowitz, Barnstable-Hyannis Patch, June 22, 2011 Cape Cod Healthcare and members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association at Cape Cod Hospital have ratified a new three-year contract that limits mandatory overtime and improves wages and benefits. CCHC shares the MNA’s desire to address the issue of mandatory overtime and therefore the contract includes an agreement to cap mandatory overtime at 12 shifts per year, or three per quarter, Cape Cod Hospital said in a release. ... Cape

Cape Cod and Falmouth Hospital Nurses Vote to Ratify New Contract

Pact Provides Nurses with Limits on the Use of Mandatory Overtime, Staffing Improvements, and a Process for Improving Conditions on the Psychiatric Unit to Improve Care and Protect Staff. Massachusetts Nurses Association, June 22, 2011 Hyannis - The registered nurses of Cape Cod and Falmouth Hospitals voted yesterday to ratify a new three-year contract that includes improvements in working conditions sought by the nurses to improve patient care at the facility. “We are relieved to have completed this agreement and we are hopeful that it will lead to better care for the patients we care for every day” said Shannon Sherman, RN, co-chair ... Cape

Cambridge Health nursing officer receives award

Cambridge Health Alliance, June 22, 2011 Elizabeth Cadigan, RN, MSN, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), received the Mary B. Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership during the Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Executives (MONE) Annual Meeting on June 6. The award, given annually by MONE, is regarded as the most prestigious nursing leadership award in Massachusetts. It recognizes a nurse executive for her commitment to and the advancement of professional nursing, in both the delivery of quality patient care and in influencing health policy development. ... Cambridge

MNA Executive Director Testifies at Hearing on Health Care Costs

Stresses Need for Regulatory Oversight of Resource Allocation & RN Staffing. Massachusetts Nurses Association, June 29, 2011 Massachusetts Nurses Association Executive Director Julie Pinkham, RN was invited to testify today at a hearing conducted by the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy about the issue of resource allocation under the proposed move to a global payment system for health care services. As nurses provide 90 percent of the clinical care in the current system, the MNA, as the voice of frontline nurses, has a unique and important perspective on what works and doesn’t work in the system, as well as on how it needs to be improved. The MNA  testimony focuses on three key points ... MNA

Nurses versus Wall Street - video

Massachusetts Nurses Protest for Transaction Tax. Amherst Media, June 27, 2011 Leaving from central and western Massachusetts, two buses full of Registered Nurses and their allies in the community traveled to New York City to participate in a protest on Wall Street. The Massachusetts Nurses Association was joining nurse’s unions from across the country to promote “National Nurses United’s Main Street Contract for the American People” which includes demands for a new tax on financial transactions. ... Nurses

Saint Vincent nurses care about patients

Judith Gunnarson, Rutland, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, June 24, 2011

As a lifelong resident of Worcester County who has frequented Saint Vincent Hospital, I would like to congratulate the Saint Vincent nurses on their recent contract settlement and victory for safe staffing. I have been following their story with great interest. Their courage and perseverance in standing up to Vanguard Healthcare, a corporate giant, is commendable. In this day and age when health care is so uncertain and scary for so many, it’s admirable and comforting to know that a group of nurses would take on this fight for the safety of their patients. Our community and families will benefit greatly from their hard work and professionalism.

NNU/MNA International Day of Action - June 22

Join the NNU/MNA for an International Day of Action To Make Wall Street Pay for the Damage Done to Main Street.

When:  June 22, 2011 at 12 noon
Where:  Federal Hall, Wall Street, NYC

Nurses press for sale protection

Steven Fletcher, Gloucester Daily Times, June 15, 2011

With a merger or sale of Northeast Health Systems to one of four larger organizations looming at the end of the month, nurses from Addison Gilbert Hospital took their case to the street Wednesday to demand assurances that "successor language" protecting their jobs be included in any new contract.

The nurses, unionized through the Massachusetts Nurses Association, protested from 2 PM to 5 PM outside Addison Gilbert, waving signs decrying alleged "union busting," and calling for any sale to maintain Addison Gilbert's level of patient care.

The protest garnered car-horn support from a number of passing residents, city employees, and school bus drivers.

Community must come first among hospital priorities

Ray Lamont, Gloucester Daily Times, June 13, 2011

It's certainly understandable for the nurses union covering the staff at Addison Gilbert Hospital, Beverly Hospital and other components of Northeast Health System to want some assurance that "successor language" will be included in any merger or sale agreement that's expected from the nonprofit corporation in the coming weeks.

To that end, it was good to hear Northeast Hospital Corporation Executive Vice President Pauline Pike tell the Times late last week that the nurses' union "will remain intact and be recognized in the event of any merger or acquisition" - even if her statement doesn't go quite as far as the nurses, now bargaining for a new contract, would like.

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