Nurses at Saint-Vincent hospital strike permanent replacements receive offers
WORCESTER – As the first wave of replacement nurses received permanent job offers from St. Vincent Hospital, the striking nurses marked their 75th day on the picket line with a chant that included songs rewritten for brag about their message about dangerous staffing levels.
Several local musicians, including Nat Needle who revamped the songs, performed outside the hospital as nurses joined in following the lyrics to a home songbook.
“As you call into town, are you ready to get up? The struggle is here, and the time has come, to walk the streets. In front of St. Vincent’s Hospital, down on Summer Street. Right here in Worcester City, ”they sang Friday to the tune of Dancing in the Street.
The words “We can never be replaced” were scrawled on a nearby wall in pink chalk.
“Nurses see no chance that the hospital can replace them, as the strike has been widely hailed across the nursing community across the state and country, with nurses seen as heroes for the position they are defending following the worst public health crisis in the history of the country, ”the Massachusetts Nurses Association said in a press release.
But the hospital said on Friday that offers have been extended to permanent replacement nurses and that there are enough applicants to trigger a second wave of offers as recruitment efforts continue.
The strike is now the third longest nursing strike in Massachusetts history and one of the longest nationwide strikes in several years, according to the MNA.
Outside the hospital on Friday night, Karin Rock, a nurse from the post-anesthesia unit. said community support helped keep nurses positive during the strike.
“It’s disturbing,” she said. “There is an air of uncertainty.”
A 36-year-old nurse, she said she met many nurses she didn’t know as they walked together.
“I have met some great people,” she said. “And that will make us stronger when we come back.”
But not all nurses will have the chance to return if their jobs are filled.
The hospital is hiring additional permanent replacement nurses to support nearly 150 nurses who have returned to work, according to a press release from the Saint-Vincent administration.
The hospital’s recruiting effort is currently focused on the 102 permanent replacement nurse positions posted, which includes one position in the Emergency Department, PACU, same-day medical surgery, and surgery. the same day with 32 or more hours per week, according to the release.
Eruni Peri said that despite the deadlock, she often thinks about going back to work.
“I always expect them to do something to bring us back,” she said.
Nursing is her second career and she has worked there for 3 years. That’s what she likes, she says.
“Even with all of this,” she said. “I love it.”
She was grateful to the singers who brightened up the evening for those walking the picket line.
“It’s encouraging,” she said. I have to pay tribute to them for the personalized creation of the songs. “