WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Many nurses are slated to return to St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester on Saturday after spending more than 300 days on strike.

The nurses ratified the agreement between the association and Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare 487 to 9 earlier this month, bringing an end to the historic strike.

Over the course of 10 months, the two sides came together 43 times to negotiate before they reached a tentative agreement on December 17.

The agreement was reached after two weeks of discussions with federal mediators and finally settled at an in-person session, which was mediated by U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.

The nurses are guaranteed the right to return to their original positions and will be provided with the staffing improvements that they are required to provide effective care to their community.

Provisions were also made to increase safety precautions for the nurses while also enhancing wage and benefits packages for some.

“For nearly 10 months our nurses have walked the line for safer patient care, for the honor of our profession and for the right of all workers who make the difficult decision to engage in a lawful strike to return to their original positions,” said Marlena Pellegrino, RN, a 35-year nurse at the hospital. “As we stand here tonight we can proudly say we have achieved our goals.”

Under the agreement, the hospital will have 30 days following ratification to recall all nurses back to the hospital to provide care. 

If ratified the contract will run from Jan. 3, 2021– Dec. 31, 2025 and includes two years of retroactive pay (2020 and 2021).

“We are now focused on working together for the good of the people we serve. We will renew our focus on the values we share and the commitments we make to one another as colleagues. And we will work diligently to heal the wounds of the past year as we integrate striking nurses, nurses who have been taking great care of our patients during the strike, and the rest of our excellent staff,” a spokesperson for the hospital wrote in a statement.

The strike was the longest nurses’ strike nationally in over 15 years and the longest nurses strike in Massachusetts history.

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