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Holy Family RNs, Supporters to Hold Candlelight Vigil for Safe Patient Care

Mass. Nurses Assoc. Press Release Press Release, 12/7/12

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In the spirit of the season, RNs also collecting canned goods for local food pantry

WHEN:         Dec. 10, 2012 from 6 - 8 p.m.
WHERE:       70 East Street, Methuen, MA (across the street from the main hospital entrance)
WHO:           Registered nurses, community activists & supporters
WHAT:         A candlelight vigil to draw public attention to the nurses’ struggles to have management address their concerns about safe RN staffing levels in the facility.


According to Gayle Burke, RN and co-chairperson of the MNA bargaining unit at Holy Family, nurses on every floor and in every unit are being forced to care for too many patients at once--a practice that has been proven to be dangerous by countless research groups and studies over the last two decades. “Yet, management continues to push the envelope when it comes to staffing, and patient safety is regularly jeopardize as a result,” said Burke. “Adding insult to injury, management is reluctant at best to have a legitimate, proactive conversation with us about how to improve this situation.”

The Holy Family RNs joined the MNA in July of 2011 and have been in contract negotiations with management since December of that year. The issue of safe patient care has been at the heart of many negotiation sessions and the RNs have made countless proposals aimed at improving things. Management has rejected all such proposals, counter offering with proposals that would likely worsen the situation.

“This issue is close to our hearts,” added Burke, “as both nurses and as members of the greater Methuen community. We will be outside on the Dec. 10  with brightly burning candles in hand  as tribute to this: that safe patient care is our concern, and that safe patient care is the best thing we can offer this community.” As part of their ongoing dedication to the local community, the RNs will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items during the vigil. All items will be donated to an area food pantry.

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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.  The MNA is also a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.

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