The Nurses‘ request for safer staffing to provide safer, safe patient care was finally answered by Tenet Healthcare from Dallas on Sunday morning and the first proposal from the hospital was sent to the through the federal mediator, since it was removed from the table on May5.
Although these Nurses hoped this would serve to resume negotiations on a good basis, they unnecessarily prolonged their strike to avoid accountability for making the necessary improved staffing after reviewing that proposal which clearly was not the case and appears to be another public relations effort by Tenet.
This recent proposal does not provide any significant steps towards addressing nursing staff concerns, even reducing staffing protection in some areas, including reneging on a previous flexibility offer, a controversial approach that has enabled Tenet to do away with a previously agreed offer to eliminate flex positions. The plan on 5 May also included measures for lower wages and health benefits.In reply to Tenet’s offer, the Nurses meet on Monday to examine the plan with the members of the Bargaining Unit, and the committee shall prepare a counter proposal that the Nurses have asked should be presented to management on Tuesday. In more than 15 months, the parties did not meet in person.
Marlena Pellegrino, RN, long term nurse in St. Vincent’s Hospital and co-chair of the local Nurses negotiating unit with the Massachusetts Association, said: “It just goes a step ahead and two steps back.”This is not a genuine plan to enable to offer our community hospital for patients with the attention and dignity that they deserve.”