FRAMINGHAM - Nurses at Framingham Union Hospital have made a filing with the National Labor Relations Board for an election to join the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), the state’s largest union for registered nurses.
Employees of the hospital, a part of the larger MetroWest Medical Center alongside Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick, held a press conference this past Tuesday to outline their intent. One of the speakers was Kelley Cutler, a nurse who’s worked at Framingham Union for roughly seven years. Cutler highlighted the importance of standing up for those in the community they treat.
“By promoting the union today, I am asking that the nurses at this hospital collectively have a voice to sit at the table and be able to advocate for our patients,” Cutler said.
Those in favor of joining the MNA have claimed that conditions at Framingham Union have been declining. The group has also pointed to the hospital’s upper management and Tenet Healthcare, the corporation that owns the hospital, for their alleged failure to address staffing troubles and consequential issues regarding safety.
“This has also resulted in a lot of employees leaving the hospital and having very poor retention rates,” Cutler later remarked.
“While other nearby areas have recovered and been seeming to be rebounding from the recent pandemic, MetroWest has only worsened…The nurses on our unit typically take care of six patients, and that can be unsafe because patients today are sicker and have more complex medical issues than they’ve had in the past.”
A total of 278 nurses at Framingham Union Hospital are seeking to be represented within a union, according to the MNA. Another one of those registered nurses who spoke was Adam Crawford, who called the balance between healthcare workers and those who handle the business aspects “broken.”
“Labor in healthcare has been stretched to the limits by the idea of constant quarterly growth and the need to raise company stock prices,” Crawford said during the press conference.
Crawford urged those business leaders to promote “the humane side of healthcare.”
“People are tired of being just a number on a spreadsheet made by absentee owners who pat themselves on the back when they meet their quarterly projections,” Crawford continued.
By the time of publication, representatives with Tenet did not reply to a request from The Frame for comments on the matter.
The mission of Access Framingham is to engage, serve and enrich the community by developing programming by and for the people of Framingham, providing educational opportunities, and facilitating the exchange of ideas and information through traditional and new media.Learn More