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Worcester nurses plan 1-day strike over staffing

NurseWORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — More than 2,000 nurses at UMass Memorial Medical Center have scheduled a one-day strike on May 23 to protest what the nurses’ union calls unsafe staffing levels.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that the hospital plans to hire replacement nurses and promises that patient care will not be affected.

Nurses say they’ll strike for 24 hours unless they reach a contract agreement with the hospital.

Lynne P. Starbard, co-chairwoman of the union representing nurses at the Memorial and Hahnemann campuses, says the hospital is ignoring the union’s requests for more staff.

UMass Memorial said a strike would be disappointing and that the hospital is willing to continue good-faith negotiations. It says it has proposed adding nurses to several departments at a cost of nearly $11 million a year.