Diminished Patient Protection Forces Steward-Quincy Medical Center Nurses to Conduct One-Day Strike
Massachusetts Nurses Association Press Release, 4/10/13
M E D I A A D V I S O R Y
Thursday, April 11 Beginning at 6 a.m.
Nurses Will Picket for 24 hours and will be prepared to re-enter the hospital on
April 12 at 6 a.m. to resume care of patients
WHERE: Quincy Medical Center
114 Whitwell St., Quincy, MA
WHEN: 6 a.m., April 11 – Nurses will gather outside the hospital to greet their colleagues exiting the building and begin the 24-hour strike picketing
12 noon, April 11 – Striking nurses will hold a rally with
community supporters on the strike line
To protest dangerous staffing conditions at their hospital, registered nurses at Cerberus-Steward owned Quincy Medical Center will conduct a one-day strike on Thursday, April 11. The strike will be the first nurses’ strike at a Greater Boston hospital in more than 25 years and it has been sanctioned by the most overwhelming nurses strike vote in Massachusetts history.
Staffing at Steward-Quincy Medical Center is at a bare-bones level, forcing nurses to care for too many patients at one time, which is compromising nurses’ ability to provide safe patient care. In fact, RNs have submitted more than 150 official written reports of unsafe staffing incidents to management in the last 14 months.
The long-standing patient safety concerns at the hospital turned into full blown crisis on February 17 when Cerberus-Steward, the for-profit owner of the hospital, shut down a 40-bed nursing unit. As a result, nurses report that as many as a dozen patients per day are being “boarded” in the hospital’s emergency department, sometimes for 24 hours or more under conditions the nurses consider to be unsafe.
“Our members have had enough,” said Paula Ryan, RN, a nurse at the hospital and chair of the MNA local bargaining unit. “We have attempted to negotiate for months with management. We have presented written reports; we have told them we are worried that there are imminent risks of negative patient outcomes. They have refused to respond except to say that this is a financial decision. We feel that we have a duty to our patients, our practice and to each other to take action. We also consider it to be our duty to the future of this hospital that we love. This is our hospital and we want it to succeed. But when you find yourself to be in a hole, the first step is to stop digging. We are at the point where we have to say ‘stop.”’
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