The nurses have been attempting for months, well before the closing of the unit, to convince the hospital to negotiate with them to improve patient safety and care, as fewer nurses have been expected to care for too many patients at one time. In the past 12 months, nurses have filed more than 150 written reports of unsafe conditions at the hospital where they felt the safety of their patients was placed in jeopardy as a direct result of excessive patient assignments. In early January, dozens of nurses from the hospital, including nurses from the unit that was just closed, were out in the community, handing out leaflets at T stations and shopping centers detailing their serious concerns about potentially unsafe staffing conditions at the hospital. Nurses have also informed the Department of Public Health that they consider conditions to be unsafe for patients.
The 236 nurses at Quincy Medical Center have been in negotiations for their first contract with Cerberus Steward, which purchased the hospital in October of 2011. Countless negotiations sessions have been held since December 2011.
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest professional health care organization and 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. The MNA is also a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United