QUINCY, Mass., June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a joint effort to secure a sound future for Steward Quincy Medical Center, the registered nurses represented by Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United and Steward Health Care LLC have announced the ratification of an important one year agreement. As part of the agreement, nurses and management strengthen their mutual commitment to QMC with the goal of long-term success and viability of the hospital and mutual commitment to staffing levels that ensure quality patient care.
Prior to joining Steward, QMC had a history of financial difficulty and went through bankruptcy in 2011. Working together under the agreement, with a focus on long-term financial viability, Steward and the MNA/NNU with the successfully implementation of this plan, will engage the community to increase the utilization of this valuable local resource.
To help stabilize the hospital's financial condition, the nurses have agreed to a wage freeze for the next 12 months, and in this interim period to allow for a limited increase in the use of per diem and variable hour nursing positions to deal with fluctuating census as the hospital's volume increases and the restructuring of some departments. In addition, QMC will create a swing unit to care for patients from the emergency department who are waiting for admission to the hospital. These efforts were developed in conjunction with an enforceable commitment to staffing on in-patient units to ensure safe patient care.
"This agreement sets a blueprint for the future and increases awareness of the great care provided at our hospital," said Daniel Knell, President of Quincy Medical Center. "We are committed to high quality, safe patient care. I believe that working together with the MNA we can become the hospital of choice for the residents of the Greater Quincy Area."
"The nurses of Quincy Medical Center have always placed the needs of our patients and our community at the forefront of our concerns. This agreement reflects that goal," said Paula Ryan, a nurse at the hospital for more than 40 years and the chair of MNA/NNU local bargaining unit. "This was never about the money; it was always about staffing and our goal of ensuring that our patients receive the best care possible. As we have done many times over the years, the nurses have been willing to make a financial sacrifice to ensure the success of this hospital, and the best for our patients and this community. This agreement serves as the foundation for a new relationship with management where we can jointly work to assure safe care and a bright future for Quincy Medical Center."
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United; Steward Health Care