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.