FRAMINGHAM - Nurses at Framingham Union Hospital are still calling for an election to potentially unionize.
Nurses at the local healthcare center held a press conference last week to reiterate their intentions to vote following their initial filings with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). They were joined by representatives of the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA)—the largest union for registered nurses in the state—alongside Framingham government officials such as Mayor Charlie Sisitsky and City Councilors Janet Leombruno, Phil Ottaviani, and John Stefanini.
Those looking to unionize have cited poor working conditions, staffing issues, and concerns over safety as reasoning behind their desire to be represented by the MNA. The union noted that nearly 300 local nurses have sought representation, which would be more than enough than the 30% of employees needed to trigger an election with the NLRB.
“(Nurses) want to improve the patient safety and get the respect that they deserve and need…They have a right to union [sic], it’s a fundamental right to organize,” Ottaviani said at the press conference.
One of those healthcare professionals who advocated for a union was Ginnie Ford, a maternity nurse, who started working at Framingham Union in 1977. She told attendees at the event that as she approaches the end of her career, she is working to secure representation for a group of essential workers.
“We love this hospital,” Ford continued. “We want to take control again and be the nurses we were back 40, 50 years ago.”
Tenet Healthcare Corp., the Texas-based company that owns MetroWest Medical Center and its subsidiaries such as Framingham Union Hospital, has appealed the movement to conduct a union election. The MNA alleges that Tenet has tried deliberately delaying the union vote and “trying to strip nurses of their right to vote.”
“We want to say to Tenet today: stop the appeals to Washington, D.C., stop the union-busting,” President of the MNA Katie Murphy said at the press conference.
As of the time of publication, representatives with Tenet have not responded to a request to comment on the matter sent by The Frame.
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