News & Events

Community Support for the Baystate Franklin Medical Center Nurses

For Immediate Release     Contact:  Charles Rasmussen   781-363-0728


Community supporters deliver petitions to Chuck Gijanto’s office

A Greenfield, Mass. — A delegation of community leaders and registered nurses from Baystate Franklin Medical Center yesterday delivered petitions signed by more than 1,800 residents of Franklin County calling for Baystate Health Systems to show respect for the BFMC nurses and the communities the nurses serve by reaching a fair settlement with the nurses to avert a strike, now scheduled for Oct. 5.  The petitions were delivered to the Franklin Medical Center office of Chuck Gijanto, Baystate Health Systems’ President of Regional Markets. (See attached copy of petition)

The Registered Nurses have been attempting to negotiate a contract for ten months. Baystate Health Systems, the hospital’s operator, continues to make demands that would severely harm the quality of care the nurses are able to deliver. Baystate is also attempting to take away basic bargaining rights.

According to Greenfield Town Council Member, Norm Hirschfield, the citizens are worried about the negotiations and the effect of Baystate proposals, “My constituents in Precinct 9 are all very concerned about patient safety especially with nurses being forced to work long hours. Another problem is the policy of Baystate Health Systems which forces nurses to come to work sick. With all the long hours it doesn’t bode well for patient safety in the hospital.”

Judy Atkins, former president of United Electrical Workers Local 274, said her members were anxious to sign the petition. “We easily collected 177 signatures supporting the nurses. Baystate is not creating the atmosphere we want in our hospital for our nurses. We believe a fair contract will benefit all hospital employees.”

David Cohen, a retired union worker, said “The community is really concerned about quality medical care at Franklin Medical Center. Stressed out Registered Nurses who are not fairly compensated for overtime makes for a terrible atmosphere in our hospital. The Franklin County Community is solidly behind the nurses of Franklin Medical Center.”

The nurses, who are members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United bargaining unit return to the negotiation table for the 27th session on Thursday, September 27.