DiZoglio Among Those Hosting Nurses’ Forum as Talks Renew

Rep. Diana DiZiglio of Methuen.

A community forum, on behalf of union nurses seeking new labor contracts with Holy Family Hospital, Methuen and Haverhill, takes place in Haverhill Tuesday, Sept. 20.

The Workers’ Rights Board, an adjunct of Massachusetts Jobs With Justice is holding the forum from 6 to 8 p.m. at Universalist Unitarian Church, 15 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill, according to Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA). The union represents nurses at both Holy Family campuses, including 145 registered nurses in Haverhill. Speakers include nurses and community members, and will be hosted by state Rep. Diana DiZiglio of Methuen; Susan Winning, coordinator of the UMass Lowell Labor Extension Program; and community leader Ralph Galen from United Universalist Church of Wakefield. It will be held the same night contract talks begin between nurses at the Methuen hospital and parent Steward Health Care.

“As the Holy Family Methuen nurses begin their talks, the nurses at Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill continue their contentious struggle to negotiate their own union contract with Steward,” an MNA spokesperson said. “In those talks, Steward also refused for months to provide needed information; came to the table with virtually no proposals; reneged on a promise to provide a promised pension benefit; and have finally made a wage offer that would lag so far behind pay offered by other hospitals that more nurses are guaranteed to leave despite many of the nurses going three years without any increase, and the hospital’s posting of significant profits in the last year. The exodus of nurses from the facility has caused the hospital on numerous occasions to turn away patients seeking care at the facility.”

The forum will be open to the public. This week MNA filed a third “unfair labor practice” complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Steward, on behalf of the nurses in Methuen. Nurses in Haverhill earlier filed two similar complaints with NLRB.

Massachusetts Jobs With Justice is described as “a coalition of community, faith and labor organizations who advocate for the fair treatment of working people.”