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Three years after their dispute began, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) have reached an agreement and approved a new two-year contract deal. The union representing Brigham and Women’s hospital supports over 3,400 nurses who accused the hospital of putting profits ahead of patient care.
In 2016, nurses from Brigham threatened a historic one-day strike. Both sides ultimately reached a contract deal to avoid the strike the day before it was set to begin what would have been the largest walkout of nurses in state history. Prior to the strike being called off, Brigham had planned to lock out the striking nurses for four additional days by hiring temporary replacements and transferring hundreds of patients to other facilities.
The nurses union has continued to clash with other hospital executives since then, carrying out a strike at Tufts Medical Center in 2017 and pushing a controversial ballot question to regulate nurse staffing levels in hospitals in 2018, which was rejected by voters.
The new agreement shows a drastic change in attitude from all sides. Contract negotiations between Brigham and the nurses association had reached a bitter point prior to the cancelled strike in 2016. But this time around, the talks were very different and all sides can take part in celebrating a new agreement between the two organizations.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital released the following statement following the new contract deal: “The process of negotiations was collaborative and respectful as the hospital and the MNA worked to achieve our mutual goal: ensuring that nurses have a safe, supportive environment in which to provide the best care for patients.”
The new contract will take place retroactively to last October and expire in September 2020. The deal includes a 12 percent raise over two years for nurses in their first 19 years on the job and a 4.5 percent increase for nurses at the top of the wage scale. The contract also maintains pensions and other existing benefits.
To learn more about the new two-year contract deal between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Nurses Association three years after avoiding a historic strike, visit here.