The longest nursing strike in Massachusetts history ended on Monday after it was announced that the nurses from Tennet Healthcare Hospital would ratify a new four-year deal with management.
The agreement includes improved staffing and gives nurses who went on strikes the right to return to work in the same positions, working hours, and shifts as before they stopped working.
It also includes language to better protect nurses from violent patients, raise wages until 2025, and improve health insurance benefits for some union members.
“They wanted nothing more than to return to work for months, and they risked their livelihoods on the picket line each day to achieve that goal,” U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan said in a statement Monday evening, praising the nurses for remaining on strike “until they secured the protections and staffing conditions their patients deserve.”
The hospital currently has 30 days to send a recall letter to nurses during a strike, but both sides expect them to return to work well before that deadline. The hospital said on Monday that nurses are expected to return to work by January 22nd.
The benefits of the deal are already recognized. St. Vincent announced last week that it has reopened 12 inpatient behavioral health beds that were closed in August due to staffing shortages.
There were several high-profile strikes across the country last year as labor unions feel encouraged to hold out for more amid ongoing worker shortages.