By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) — More than 1,000 nurses at Tufts Medical Center in Boston have ratified their new contract averting a strike.

The 18-month agreement came just hours before nurses were set to walk off their job, and after Tufts had hired hundreds of replacement nurses as they braced for a possible strike.

The new contract eases patient loads, limits mandatory overtime and gives nurses a two percent pay increase. The hospital will also add “charge nurses” to supplement staffing levels.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports.

The chairperson of the bargaining unit, Barbara Tiller, R.N., says these talks came close to ending in the street as talks boiled down to discussions over staffing levels. Tiller says certain patient loads have been reduced.

But Tufts Medical Center President and CEO Ellen Zane tells WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva formulaic staffing levels were never part of this contract. Zane says the hospital was not willing to talk about those formulas which have been espoused by the union nationally.

Zane says the contract was settled just four hours before the strike was set to begin. She confirms that the hospital had hired several hundred nurses from around the country, trained them and had them ready for their first shifts when a settlement was announced.

  1. Warren says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to Ellen Zane for not allowing Tufts nurses and their Union to exert their strong-arm attempts to paralyze Tufts Medical Center. The nurses and their Union rhetoric is disgraceful and not credible. Where’s the SCIENCE in the credible peer reviewed medical literature to support the nurse’s Union demand for mandatory staffing levels? Fortunately, the public saw through the nurses rhetoric and the public’s support for and sympathy for the nurses bargaining platform was noticeably absent. The nurses tried to lead the public to believe that their position was “all about the best interests of the patient.” So the Florence Nightingale’s turned Bernie Madoff’s would have led you to believe. What a surprise that the nurses ended up with a 2% raise over the 18 month extension to their contract, but the nurses said their demands were “all about the patient.”. The only thing that came from this charade was that the nurses called attention to their greed, deception and disgrace of a Union.

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