Carolyn Jackson, CEO of Saint Vincent Hospital, has sent an open letter to the hospital’s striking nurses asking them to accept his last offer and return to work after the hospital asserted its right under federal labor law, its last, best and unilaterally implement the last offer on Friday. The terms of this final offer were implemented on Sunday October 17th.

In the open letter MassLive received, Jackson urged the nurses on strike to “return to work and take advantage of the terms of the last, best, and last offer.”

This offer was made to the Massachusetts Nurses Association in early August and, according to the hospital, includes additional staff in “most” units, additional workplace safety measures and hourly rate increases of up to 13.5% for some nurses.

According to Jackson, the offer includes an increase in the number of nurses each year as well as a gradual increase.

“For example, those of you who were on pre-strike from Hire Step to Step 12 and had an anniversary step in the last 7 months will have a 9.3% higher hourly rate when you return,” Jackson writes. “Those who took an anniversary step prior to the level 15 strike in the last 7 months will have a 13.5% higher hourly rate on their return.”

All nurses, full-time, part-time and daily allowance, will also receive a flat-rate payment of 3% of the W-2 compensation payable in June 2022, according to the latest offer.

In March, nurses went on strike calling for safer staffing at Worcester Hospital. Over the summer, the strike became the longest nurses strike in Massachusetts history. In response to the hospital’s announcement on Friday, the MNA said it had filed its eleventh charge in a series of charges of unfair labor with the National Labor Relations Board.

Last week, the MNA said Tenet Healthcare’s declaration of a dead end is nothing new to the strike landscape. The nurses argue that the negotiations on a new contract were an illegal dead end declaration.

“With this decision, Tenet, which has already spent more than $ 100 million to force and extend this strike, is putting an end to all efforts to reach an agreement to end the strike so that the nurses on strike return to their previous positions so the hospital can be safe. “Reopen beds and services that the community needs to cope with the surge caused by the Delta variant,” the MNA said.

In August, the union and hospital reached an agreement on all but one of the issues. Nurses want to return to the same positions they were in before the strike. The hospital has promised jobs to returning nurses but said a small percentage might not be able to return to the same position before the strike.

“The vast majority of you will be able to return to your exact roles before the strike,” Jackson writes in the letter. “For those of you who cannot go back to your exact role, come back and work with us. We are committed to the MNA not to force you or the permanent replacement nurses to take jobs you do not want and we have suggested alternatives that target the limited circumstances where your exact position may not be available prior to the strike . “

The hospital hired hundreds of replacement nurses during the strike, with many of the newly hired nurses working in positions previously occupied by nurses on strike.

“Tenet’s decision does not affect our strike on a legal or practical level as it only enables Tenet to implement its final offer for those in the hospital. Because of this decision, there will be no improvement in patient care as Tenet cannot provide the staffing necessary to safely implement the patient care improvements that we believed we negotiated in August given the 700 nurses who have this level of Could provide care on the street and these surrogate nurses lack the experience and understanding of our hospital to get it up and running, ”commented Marlena Pellegrino, a hospital nurse and co-chair of the local nurses collective bargaining unit with the MNA, beginning this month.

In response to Jackson’s open letter, the nurses are redoubling the view that the hospital’s actions are an illegal and retaliatory measure to delay a just settlement that would return all nurses to their previous positions.

“The short answer to Carolyn Jackson’s open letter to the nurses is, we won’t be going back to work unless we … [are] allowed to return to our positions, which is the best way to ensure our patients get the care they deserve, ”said Marie Ritacco, a nurse on strike, a member of the St. Vincent Hospital Nursing Negotiating Committee and vice president of Massachusetts Nurses Association. “… We find her letter asking the nurses to return both disturbing and wildly offensive to the intelligence of the 700 brave nurses who have now been on strike for seven months because she is unable to work as an administrative clerk in the Their indifference to the suffering of the patients we care for, and their blatant contempt and disregard for those ultimately responsible for care under their deplorable and dangerous policies under their regime. “

The nurses were ready to reach an agreement and return in August, but Tenet undermined those efforts, Ritacco said in the MNA’s statement in response to Jackson’s letter.

“It is time for Tenet to stop these inadequate efforts to divide and attack our nurses and end the unnecessary suffering they have caused to our patients and our community,” said Ritacco.

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