Nurses' strike: Private hospitals to remain closed from Monday

Nurses say patient safety, lack of resources behind their strike at New England medical center

"The hospital is choosing to operate this hospital for four additional days with 300 people who've never worked here, and it's irresponsible", Massachusetts Nurses Association spokesman David Schildmeier said.

The 1,200 registered nurses at Tufts Medical Center represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association walked out Wednesday morning, beginning a 24-hour strike after the latest round of negotiations Tuesday failed to yield an agreement.

"By continuing a hostile approach to interactions with Tufts Medical Center and other hospitals that employ its nurses, the MNA union leadership has shown in very concrete actions that they are not only willing but eager to put themselves before patients", Ms. Nicholas concluded.

The nurses union launched a one-day strike around 7 a.m. Wednesday, setting up a picket line that drew hundreds of union members along with political figures to the sidewalk outside the hospital on Washington Street in Boston's Chintatown section. They said the nurses were aware of the five-day work contract for the temporary nurses.

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Tufts CEO Michael Wager told the Associated Press that that strike is "extremely disappointing".

It's the first nurses strike in Boston in more than 30 years. "But make no mistake, we will continue to provide exceptional patient care", Wagner said in a statement.

The nurses are seeking more staffing so they can spend more time with patients, along with an increase in their salaries and enhancement of their pensions. They also said that their revenue in well below other hospitals in the city and it is not feasible to pay their nurses the same wages as other facilities. They send out blast text messages on a daily basis to try and fill holes, or nurses have to stay over time.

A federal mediator has been brought in to help with negotiations.

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