WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - St. Vincent Hospital nurses and Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare are set to resume contract negotiations Monday for the first time since the nurses launched a strike.

About 800 nurses went on strike on March 8 for a new contract that they believe must include needed staffing improvements to ensure safer care for all patients at the facility, according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

A federal mediator scheduled the negotiation talks after Tenet agreed to present a proposal that the MNA says nurses hope can move the process forward to end the strike.

“With the resolve we have gained over the last seven weeks on strike, we have always been willing to get back to the table in hopes of settling a contract that puts the safety and dignity of our patients first,” said Marlena Pellegrino, longtime nurse at the hospital and co-chair of the nurses local bargaining with the Massachusetts Nurses Association.  “We are hopeful that the Hospital will come to the table in earnest with a serious proposal that will adequately address the needs of all of our patients and honor the integrity of the negotiating process. If this is their true intent, we will negotiate as hard and long as it takes to reach an agreement and get back where we have always belonged – at the bedside caring for our patients and the community we have served with pride for so many years.”

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