News & Events

Franklin Medical Center Nurses Picket Hospital

Baystate Health Systems Inc. Refuses To Put Forward A Reasonable
Solution To Resolve The Situation

After 14 sessions over seven months the negotiations between the nurses and Franklin Medical Center (FMC) have come to a crucial point. The MNA negotiating committee has been working long hours to represent the nurses while at the same time the administrators from Baystate Health Systems and FMC have steadfastly held firm in not offering a reasonable solution to resolve the situation.

"This issue is really about whether FMC and their parent corporation, Baystate Health Systems Inc., has a commitment to retaining and recruiting quality nurses and will make an offer allowing your local nurses to continue working at FMC," said Joanne Calloon co-chair of the FMC MNA bargaining unit. The problem presently resolves around the how much Baystate is willing to pay for health insurance for nurses who work 24 hours a week. While the FMC pay scale has lagged behind other Pioneer Valley hospitals, the long standing FMC contractual agreement to pay 24 hour nurses health care benefits at the same level as full time employees has allowed many of these local nurses to continue working at FMC. At the present time 48 of the 248 members of the MNA bargaining unit take advantage of this benefit.

According the Kristine Einhorn co-chair of the FMC MNA bargaining unit there are many reasons for these nurses to work part time. "Most of these RNs have other obligations that don’t allow them to work full time. For most the obligation is probably family and children. These are local woman who have responsibilities in the home. There are also a considerable number of nurses in this group who are older and more experienced. These seasoned nurses are satisfied working 24 hours a week, due to physical demands and bring a wealth of experience with them, to work, every day."

The RNs of the FMC unit have been leafleting the Greenfield community asking them to contact the Trustees of Baystate Health Systems INC. Today’s picket line also made the same request. The local nurses feel the more pressure they put on the corporation from Springfield the quicker they can come to an equitable solution to fairly resolve this situation.