On March 4th, the Worcester State University chapter of the Massachusetts State College Association (MSCA Worcester), unanimously approved a message of solidarity with striking Massachusetts Nurses Association nurses at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester. The statement was introduced by an Independent Socialist Group (ISG) member, and has since been adopted by the statewide MSCA union. ISG urges MSCA Worcester to “adopt a day” on the picket line and turn out their members to support the nurses, as well as taking additional concrete steps to support the strike like those called for here on the MNA website.
We republish the full text of the statement below. All union members should introduce similar statements for approval within their own local unions.
MSCA Worcester Statement of Solidarity with St. Vincent Nurses
The Worcester State University chapter of the Massachusetts State College Association (MSCA Worcester) asserts its solidarity with the nurses of St. Vincent Hospital, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), in their current labor dispute with Tenet Healthcare. We also support their planned up-coming strike, which will begin on March 8 unless and until an equitable agreement is reached. Despite these nurses’—these truly essential workers’—courageous efforts to keep the Worcester community safe, including their current work helping run the Worcester State University (WSU) mass vaccination site, Tenet Healthcare (the multibillion dollar multinational corporation which operates the hospital) has refused their nurses’ reasonable requests for appropriate pay and adequate staffing levels, both of which are necessary to maintain public health and even minimally fair labor conditions amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
MSCA Worcester further calls on the WSU administration to reconsider allowing the use of “replacement workers” of any kind to operate the mass vaccination site should the St. Vincent nurses be compelled to follow-through on their legally-protected and socially-responsible withholding of labor in a last-ditch effort to achieve a just outcome to the current impasse, an outcome which would improve the short- and long-term stability of the health care system in Worcester. (Passed unanimously on March 4, 2021.)