Nurses at Tufts Medical Center to go on one-day strike

BOSTON (WHDH) — Nurses at Tufts Medical Center are preparing to strike for one day Wednesday after talks between the union and the hospital broke down.

At 7 a.m. on Wednesday, 1,200 nurses will strike for one day, the largest nurses strike in Boston in decades. Nurses said negotiations have gone on for 15 months with no agreement reached.

The hospital has hired replacement nurses to work at the hospital for five days.

Nurses told 7News they feel there is not enough nurses or specialized nurses at the hospital. They also said wages at Tufts Medical Center are not competitive, making it hard to keep and hire nurses. Barbara Tiller, of the Massachusetts Nurse’s Association (MNA), said nurses at Tufts are the lowest paid in the city.

“Nurses will come, we’ll train them and then they will leave within a year or two and go to hospitals where they can make three to eight dollars more an hour under better working conditions and better benefits,” said Tiller.

Nurses said they also want better and “responsible” retirement benefits.

Statement from Tufts Medical Center:

“The MNA had an opportunity to reach an agreement tonight; they instead chose to strike and have our nurses walk out on patients. We went to the table today and offered a path forward that met the needs of our nurses. The union recycled their retirement proposal that is risky for nurses and expensive for the hospital. We have more than 320 experienced nurses here to care for patients beginning tomorrow morning. We will deliver the same exceptional care that we always have at Tufts Medical Center.”

(Copyright (c) 2018 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)