By Staff

WORCESTER (CBS) – St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester said it will hire permanent replacement nurses as its nurses’ strike enters its tenth week.

The hospital said it will fill 50 nursing positions.

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“We had hoped we would not need to take this action. However, without a signal that the MNA is willing to compromise and reach resolution, we do not have a choice. We respect that our nurses have a right to strike, but we have a responsibility to our community. Bringing in permanent replacement nurses will help ensure continuity of care as the strike continues,” Saint Vincent Hospital CEO Carolyn Jackson said.

When the strike is over, nurses who used to hold those jobs will not get them back. Instead, they will be placed on a “preferential hire” list.

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Nurses have said they are striking over unsafe staffing levels. The nurses say they’ve filed more than 600 complaints about the issue in the last year.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association said St. Vinecent nurses “remain unmoved” by the announcement.

“The nurses will continue their efforts to reach an agreement to end a strike that is focused on improving staffing levels at the hospital, staffing levels and working conditions that have forced more than 700 of them to conduct one of the longest strikes in the state’s history, conditions that before the strike, drove more than 100 nurses to leave the hospital for hospitals with safer working conditions,” the MNA said in a statement Wednesday night.

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The announcement came on Wednesday, the final day of National Nurses Week. Staff