WORCESTER, Mass. - Since the start of the ongoing nurses strike back in March, both sides have been very clear in saying they are committed to reaching an agreement. 

Now, Tenet Healthcare declared an impasse on the strike with nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital.

"They are not going to bully us and punish us into crossing the picket line," Marlena Pellegrino, a nurse at Saint Vincent Hospital and co-chair of the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), said.

An impasse suggests negotiations have gone on for so long, that continuing them wouldn't result in an agreement.  

"Declaring impasse gives us the right under federal labor law to unilaterally implement the last, best, and final offer that we presented to the Massachusetts Nurses Association in early August," a hospital spokesperson said in a statement. "If we decide to do so, we will share more information at that time." 

What You Need To Know

  • Tenet declared impasse on the strike with nurses at Saint Vincent Hospital
  • An impasse suggests more negotiations wouldn't result in an agreement
  • Thursday marked day 221 of the strike
  • The MNA said they will not agree on a contract unless nurses are guaranteed a return to the positions they left 

Thursday marked day 221 of the strike. The MNA said they haven't been to the bargaining table with the hospital since the middle of August. The two were able to reach an agreement over staffing, but nurses said they won't agree to anything that doesn't promise a return to the positions they left. 

"That means something that we are still out here. The hospital means something to us," Pellegrino said. "The game playing isn't working. We are not going back into the building until all of us receive our positions we left when we went on strike. That is not only the standard, it's the right thing to do. It's what patients need."

Many of the nurses on strike picked up shifts at other hospitals or clinics over the past few months. The MNA said while they don't know the exact number of nurses who would return to their jobs at Saint Vincent, they said its the majority of the close to 700 nurses still on strike