By Staff

WORCESTER (CBS) – More than six months after the nurses at St. Vincent Hospital went on strike, city officials in Worcester are calling on the company that owns the facility to come back to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith.

The nurses, who walked off the job more than 200 days ago, have demanded better staffing, saying patient safety was at risk.

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Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty said that while Tenet Healthcare claims it wants the strike to end, the company hasn’t guaranteed nurses will be able to return to their previous positions or return without fear of retaliation.

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“When it comes to our nurses who have given so much for so many years, I want them to know that we in Worcester believe they are irreplaceable. Let me be clear: The strike needs to end, and needs to end now,” Petty said.

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The mayor said an end to the strike would ease a capacity crunch at Worcester hospitals and open up about 100 beds. Staff