Greenfield, MA – The registered nurses of Baystate Franklin Medical Center have set Friday, October 5, as the date for a one-day unfair labor practice strike. The Massachusetts Nurses Association bargaining unit has been at the table for 26 sessions and Baystate Management has refused to make the necessary compromises to settle an equitable contract. In addition Baystate has actively blocked the negotiation process by taking part in regressive bargaining, failing to meet at agreed upon times and places, and refusal to provide information necessary to conduct negotiations. The MNA has filed charges on these issues with the National Labor Relations Board.
The nurses unit recently overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike. The negotiating committee had hoped that once the Baystate corporate managers saw the vote they would be more reasonable, but that has not been the case, according to unit co-chair Linda Judd, RN. “Since we took the strike vote we have had two negotiation sessions and Baystate has not made any real movement. They continue to put forward proposals that would be detrimental to patient care and the hospital. Franklin Medical is our community hospital and we are in a struggle to make sure the hospital serves the needs of our community, not the corporate bottom line needs of Baystate Health Systems in Springfield.”
The tactics Baystate has been using have been very unfair said unit co-chair Donna Stern RN, “We have been attempting to negotiate this contract for nearly a year. Time after time Baystate has done everything they can to block the process. We need information they have refused to provide, Baystate walked out during scheduled sessions and they have been regressive by moving backward in their proposals. The Baystate corporate managers need to come to the table and deal with us honestly and fairly.”
The strike is scheduled for one day beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, October 5 and will conclude at 6:59 a.m. on Saturday, October 6.