News & Events

North Adams Regional Hospital RNs Overwhelmingly Vote in Favor of Strike As Talks Continue to Stall Over Issues of Pension, Hiring Rate, and Wages

North Adams, MA — The registered nurses of the North Adams Regional Hospital (NARH) voted overwhelmingly tonight to authorize their union leadership to call a strike if necessary in their ongoing negotiations with hospital management. In a unified show of strength 85% of the voting members voted in favor of the strike authorization.

“With this overwhelming vote, the nurses at this hospital have sent a clear message that they are ready and willing to strike in the defense of our patients, our profession and the future of quality health care in northern Berkshire County." said Mary McConnell, RN, a nurse in the PACU and co-chairperson of the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) local bargaining unit at NARH, "The unmistakable fact is this hospital, through its disrespect of its nurses and its disregard for the care we deliver, is threatening the quality of care in this area. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care but we are also among the lowest paid nurses in the state. In order to guarantee quality care it is important the hospital be competitive on wages and benefits so we can retain and recruit experienced nurses. In many ways we feel we are victims to our commitment to the community”

The vote to strike vote came after 10 months of negotiation. Major issues still on the table are the continuation of the pension plan, the hiring rate, per diem, and wages. The next negotiation session is scheduled for November 13th. The nurses hope that an equitable solution can be worked out, but will spend the next few weeks in preparation for a strike.

“We got a very strong message from our members that they are willing to take a stand and go out on strike if we can’t reach a contract. Many of us have spent our entire work life at NARH and we will do whatever is necessary to protect our pension, out patients and the community,” said McConnell.