After 3,300 nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) threatened a historic strike, BWH came to a tentative agreement to protect safe patient care, enhance hospital security, fight off attempts to implement non-union benefits for new nurses, and fairly increase nursing wages. The one-day strike was scheduled for June 27th, and would have been the largest in Massachusetts history and the first strike in Boston in 30 years.
The nurses at BWH are proud of their accomplishment in improving security for everyone at the hospital, including employees and patients. It was a huge victory to reach an agreement before the strike began as the nurses stood together ready to hold their historic strike for BWH patients, the BWH community, and the Brigham way of safe patient care.
Efforts to improve patient care and nursing benefits had been ongoing since May, starting with a public picket of over 1,000 nurses and supporters. While attempting to negotiate new hospital policies, the 17-member nurse bargaining committee walked the halls of BWH, talking to almost all 3,300 nurses employed by the hospital, allowing them to voice their concerns and willingness to stand up for patients and their profession with a vote for a one-day strike which was reached on June 13th.
The BWH nurses and the Massachusetts Nurses Association are proud of their success in standing up for their patients. However, these hardworking nurses still know that the best way to ensure safe patient care is by maintaining their quality nurse staffing. Nurses who receive specialized care and education, and spend more time with their patients, result in patients who do better and are less likely to be re-admitted to the hospital.