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Worcester Hospital And Nurses Union To Meet As Possible Strike Looms

St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts.
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St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester said they will head back to the negotiating table with hospital officials Monday night.

In February, the nurses voted to authorize a strike for March 8 if they couldn't reach an agreement. 

They said nurses who work with people in for something like surgery or pneumonia are currently responsible for five patients at once.

Marie Ritacco, who's a nurse at the hospital and vice president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said the people they care for are suffering as a result.

"You cannot possibly take care of patients the way they need to be, and the way they deserve to be, in a five-patient assignment," Ritacco said. 

The union is demanding the ratio be changed to four patients per nurse.

St. Vincent CEO Carolyn Jackson said the number of patients ranges from four to five. And she said they are getting good care.

Jackson said if there is a strike, the hospital will have replacement nurses on hand and patients won't see a difference in their care. 

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