Local Nurses at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Methuen Plan Strike Today, Expect Lock-Out Next 2 Days

Nurses at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Merrimack Valley in Methuen during an earlier picket. (Courtesy photograph.)

Registered nurses and nurse practitioners working at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Methuen say they plan to strike today for one day in an attempt to reach a fair contract.

Further, a spokesperson said they expect to be locked out of their jobs for the following two days.

“It is outrageous that Dana-Farber executives would rather spend untold money on travelers and lock us out rather than simply meet the needs of nurses and support the cancer care we provide in Merrimack Valley,” said spokesperson Kate Mitchell. “What does it say about Dana-Farber executives that they cannot compromise with nurses on wages and benefits, but they can bring in outside nurses to extend a one-day strike into three days? Dana-Farber’s decision confounds us and will undermine cancer care access in our community.”

The union charged Dana-Farber has made “minimal movement since nurses announced their strike, including no agreement on benefits and daily overtime standards.”

Methuen Firefighters Local 1691 is joining Massachusetts Nurses Association in support of the strike.

Meanwhile, Dana-Farber plans to shift its affiliation from Brigham and Women’s Hospital to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and construct a freestanding inpatient cancer hospital. The union said “This plan will cost many millions of dollars, while DFCI refuses to make reasonable investments in its existing nurse and nurse practitioner workforce in Merrimack Valley.”

Merrimack Valley nurses voted 97% to authorize a strike on Aug. 2. They were previously joined during an informational picket by community members, union supporters and elected officials such as state Sen. Pavel Payano and state Rep. Ryan Hamilton.

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