News & Events

VNA & Hospice Nurses Hold Rally to Say Thank You

Patient Safety Threatened by Lack of Contract

The Registered Nurses who work for the Baystate Visiting Nurses and Hospice, Greenfield office, today held a standout picket and rally on Greenfield Common to thank the large number of local residents who have signed their petition of support. Over the past few months the nurses have been collecting signatures at Post Offices and other public locations in the area “We were overwhelmed by the response of the residents in Greenfield and all the surrounding communities,” said Diane Morrissey, RN. “While it is very heartening that so many local folks understand and appreciate the work we do, it is too bad that Baystate Healthcare doesn’t share that understanding.”

Three years ago when the Franklin Medical Center (FMC) affiliated with BayState Medical Center, part of the deal removed the FMC hospice and visiting nurses from FMC and put them under a new organization. Because of this change, the nurses set up a separate bargaining unit with the Massachusetts Nurses Association and began negotiating a contract. Three years later and the contract is still in negotiation.

In addition to the thank you to the community, the nurses also called on their supporters to keep up the pressure on management. According to RN Chris Clark “Now is the time for our supporters to turn up the pressure on Baystate. We have reached tentative agreement on some proposals but the important issues are still on the table. Now more than ever we need our supporters and friends to let Baystate know they value our work and experience.”

“It is very important to us that the agency has the ability to recruit and retain experienced nurses. Many of us have many years experience doing our work in these communities and wish to continue serving this area; but with what management is presently offering us, we would be hard pressed to stay. A high turnover could have a direct affect on the quality of health care in the upper Pioneer Valley. We feel great about the support we got today and the support and signatures we have received from both our patients and the community,” said RN Elaine Lemieux a VNA nurse with many years of experience.

The nurses continue to ask their neighbors who support the quality of care in their communities to call Ruth Odgren at 413-827-4524 or email her at and tell her you support an equitable contract for these dedicated community nurses.