Herald: Tufts CEO Takes On Nurses, Alerts Replacements For Strike

Ellen Zane, the president and CEO of Tufts Medical Center, is mobilizing hundreds of replacement nurses and is prepared to put them to work if Tufts nurses authorize a strike later this week, The Boston Herald reports.

Zane is taking a page from President Reagan’s anti-union battle book, lining up hundreds of out-of-state replacements for anyone who might dare to go on strike in an increasingly bitter union-management fight.

On Thursday, Tufts’ 1,110 nurses will vote on whether to authorize a strike. Their contract expired in December.

Zane yesterday called the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s threat of a hospital strike “reprehensible.” MNA spokesman David Schildmeier shot back that Zane’s threat to use replacements is “obscene.”

Zane told the Herald she’s contacted out-of-state nurses and is prepared to spend up to $4 million hiring at least 200 to keep Tufts open during what she’s classifying as a “very, very likely” work stoppage over a dispute about how many patients each nurse serves. The union wants a limit of four per shift — a demand Zane said could cost another $33 million a year.

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  • PennyMNRN

    The NNU is concerned with gaining power for the union….they are not concerned about what they do to nurses and our profession or the patients we have vowed to serve. Read the nurses code of ethics….which by the way was written by the ANA. This new union changes the culture of the organization…they put a wedge between nurses and management and do not believe in Magnet status or shared governance. Now is the time we need to work together.

    In MN the MNA/NNU told us to prepare for an even nastier 2013….is this the culture you want for your hospital? Go to nostrikefornurses.wordpress.com and see what we went through and continue to go through in MN. We had good staffing but the union pushed for a strike..they are very persuasive. They will continue to push these ratios knowing the hospitals will not accept them in order to get a strike vote. Now due to a costly contract in which the union claims they won “no takebacks” and gave up on the ratios when many nurses were ready to cross the picket line, we are facing lay offs and restructuring. What are you willing to sacrifice to strengthen your union? A strike…even a one day that we went through..will hurt you all but mostly the patients. Do not use patients to get what the union wants….power.

  • Soxgrrl4evah

    David Schildmeir – um, ok, it’s obscene that a hospital is preparing to continue care for its patients when you lead their regular nurses in a walkout? As in WALKING OUT ON THEIR PATIENTS??? That’s what I call obscene. I suppose what your union wants them to do is just shut the whole hospital down and put all the employees out of work and kick the patients out on the street? I think it’s painfully obvious to anyone who really doesn’t care about patients – the union.

  • Tufts Proud

    I am a proud employee of Tufts Medical Center and non union. It saddens me to think that our great nurses would even consider a strike. I have seen what the hospital has put on the table and it makes sense. Go back to the table extend the contract for the year to work out what the issues are. DO NOT STRIKE. A strike will hurt everyone but mostly our patients. The backlash of a strike will last for more than the days on strike. No one wins in a STRIKE. Think about what we have all accomplished over the past 7 years under CEO Ellen Zane. Please stop letting the NNU tell you what you need (what we need). Ellen Zane has the utmost respect for our nurses and all that they do. You are a key player in our healthcare team. Lets all go back to work and let them fix the issues. It is never too little and never too late. Go back to the table and remember why you became and nurse and don’t turn your back on the patients.