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UMass Medical Center University Campus Nurses Strike Update

Massachusetts Nurses Association/NNU Press Release, 5/22/13

Contact Information | Media Center

Final Round of Talks Scheduled from 2 – 6 p.m. Today at DCU Center

Pre-Strike Rally Tonight at 6 p.m., Coral Seafood, 225 Shrewsbury St., Worcester

If Talks Fail, Nurses to Conduct One-Day Strike for Safe Patient Care, Thursday, May 23, Beginning at 6 a.m.

Nurses Will Picket for 24 hours and will be prepared to re-enter the hospital on

May 24 at 6 a.m. to resume care of patients

WHERE: UMass Memorial Medical Center, University Campus - Corner of Plantation Ave. and Route 9 in Worcester

WHEN: May 23, 6 a.m. – Nurses will gather outside the hospital to greet their colleagues exiting the building and begin the 24-hour strike picketing

The UMass Memorial Medical Center, University campus nurses’ negotiating team will be meeting with Management for one more round of talks today from 2 – 6 p.m. at the DCU Center where they hope the parties can finally come to terms on a fair contract that addresses nurses concerns about deteriorating patient care conditions at the hospital.

In the meantime, the 1,100 nurses who work at the University Hospital campus are proceeding with plans for a one-day strike on Thursday, May 23. The strike will be the largest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts history. A pre-strike Rally for the nurses and community supporters has also been scheduled for tonight, May 22, beginning at 6 p.m. at Coral Seafood Restaurant, located at 225 Shrewsbury St. in Worcester.

The key sticking point in negotiations is the hospital’s refusal to agree to a safe limit on nurses’ patient assignments, which nurses report is resulting in delays in care, substandard care and, according to published findings by the federal Medicare program, is resulting in UMass patients suffering preventable readmissions at among the highest rates in the state.

The UMasss University campus nurses cast an overwhelming vote to authorize a strike for safe staffing on April 11, and standing room only crowds at open meetings held last night once again endorsed the union leadership’s decision to strike on 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., when the nurses are prepared to re-enter the facility and resume providing care to their patients. If the hospital follows through with its plan to lock out the nurses, the nurses will maintain their picket lines throughout the lockout and continue their demonstration for safer staffing to ensure quality patient care.

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