BOSTON, July 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In a show of solidarity with the striking healthcare professionals of the Boston VNA, a contingent of striking nurses from St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester will join their picket line at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 29 in Dorchester, MA. The St. Vincent nurses — who are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) — have been in an open-ended strike against Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare for the last 145 days. Their strike came after two years of trying to win desperately needed improvements to nurse-staffing levels inside of the hospital. (For more background on the St. Vincent strike visit here.)
The healthcare professionals of the Boston VNA (BVNA) began their seven-day strike on Monday, July 26. Their job action comes after 19 months of attempting to win a fair and equitable first contract following their 2019 vote to unionize with the MNA. The physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and speech therapists who make up the group have been fighting for a contract that improves patient assignments and provides contractual equity with BVNA's unionized nurses on items such as health insurance and retirement security. (For full details on the strike by the BVNA healthcare professionals visit here.)
Boston Mayoral candidate and City Council member Annissa Essaibi George will also join the picket line on July 29. Essaibi George has supported the BVNA healthcare professionals throughout their contract talks and has, on more than one occasion, contacted BVNA management — which is owned by Worcester-based VNA Care — encouraging them to reach a fair and equitable settlement.
July 29 Strike Details for BVNA Healthcare Professionals
Striking St. Vincent nurses to arrive via bus at BVNA strike line located at 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester, MA
9 to 10 a.m.
BVNA healthcare professionals, St. Vincent nurses, and supporters will walk the strike line together located at 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester, MA
Annissa Essaibi George, Boston Mayoral candidate and City Council member, will join the strike line located at 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester, MA
Strike line will relocate to Kosciuszko Circle (the nearby rotary) for a standout and photo opportunity
All events wrap up; St. Vincent nurses return to Worcester to rejoin their own strike line
"The nurses of St. Vincent Hospital understand the importance of and need for health professionals to have a voice on the issues impacting their patients and their community, and we too had to strike in 2000 to win our first contract to gain that voice," said Marie Ritacco, RN, a striking nurse from St. Vincent Hospital and MNA vice president. "We know firsthand the stress and anxiety of taking this ultimate step, and we wanted to send our members to the BVNA's line to let them know they are not alone, and their struggle is a righteous one."
"This outpouring of support, from the St. Vincent nurses and Councilor Essaibi George, reinforces our belief in this strike," said Debra Nowak, MNA co-chairperson and a physical therapist. "We stand in solidarity as we take all steps necessary to protect our patients and secure a contract that adequately supports and empowers our clinicians. And we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Worcester as they continue with their fight for patient safety."
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is 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.