Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Nurses to Picket Friday
UPDATED, 11 a.m.:
A BWFH spokesperson provided the following statement: “We have the utmost respect for our nurses and the vital work they do. We are confident the hospital can reach a fair and reasonable contract with the MNA. The informational picket will have no impact on hospital operations. As negotiations progress, everyone at the hospital remains focused on our primary responsibility of providing our patients and their families with the best possible care.”
The conflict isn’t over for Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).
After the hospital narrowly avoided a high-profile nursing strike last month, its affiliate, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH), is having its own staffing woes. On Friday, BWFH nurses will hold an “informational picket” to voice concern over conditions and relations at the hospital.
According to a statement released by the Massachusetts Nurses Association Wednesday, BWFH nurses feel that the hospital, and its parent company Partners Healthcare, are “prioritizing profits over quality patient care and fairness to their workers.” The nurses’ concerns focus on issues including facility security, patient assignments, benefits, and pay.
“A highly profitable hospital and health care corporation like Faulkner and Partners should easily be able to uphold the highest standards of safe patient care,” Dan Rec, co-chair of the nurses’ negotiating committee, said in the statement. “It is also irresponsible that the most profitable health care employer in Massachusetts is trying to reduce health benefits and force new nurses into a non-union insurance program.”
The dialogue is likely déjà vu for hospital administration. Fueled by similar issues—namely security, staffing, and benefits—BWH nurses came within hours of a one-day strike last month. Had it gone forward, it would have been the largest labor stoppage at a Boston hospital in decades.
So far, BWFH nurses have not proposed a strike. They’re holding an eighth negotiation session Wednesday, the same day BWH nurses vote on the tentative contract that averted their own strike.