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Berkshire VNA Nurses and Healthcare Professionals to Deliver Community Petition in Support of First MNA Contract to BHS Trustee on Wednesday, April 5
A community petition signed by more than 350 people shows strong support for Berkshire VNA clinicians as they seek improved working conditions and fair wages
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Clinicians from Berkshire VNA, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, will deliver a community petition on Wednesday, April 5 to the Vice Chair of the Berkshire Health Systems Board of Trustees seeking swift action on the clinician’s first MNA contract so they can provide the quality of care their patients and the community deserve.
Berkshire VNA Community Petition Delivery
Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Greylock Credit Union 150 West St. Pittsfield to see John L. Bissell – Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for Berkshire Health Systems
Details: BVNA clinicians will present the community petition as a large banner, demonstrating strong support from people across the region.
“Quality healthcare is deeply important to all of us,” the petition reads. “At any time, we may need help caring for ourselves or a family member in our homes. That is why we value Berkshire VNA clinicians and support them in their efforts to secure a first union contract with the Massachusetts Nurses Association.”
One main issue holding up the contract agreement is improvements clinicians are seeking regarding the way BVNA allocates time for different types of patient care. Clinicians need enough time to properly assess, provide care, and document care so that their patients have the best chance to recover well at home. They are also seeking fair wages that properly value the care they provide and help to retain and recruit clinicians to perform this important work. Read the full petition at www.massnurses.org/BVNApetition.
BVNA registered nurses, and physical, occupational and speech therapists joined MNA in December 2021 following an election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Berkshire VNA is owned by Berkshire Health Systems, which also owns Berkshire Medical Center where the MNA represents approximately 900 registered nurses.
Established in 1901, the Berkshire VNA provides comprehensive care to patients of all ages who are recovering from an illness or hospitalization in their own home. The medical needs of Berkshire VNA patients are varied and complex and may include, among other things, post-surgical conditions such as total hip or total knee replacements; stroke; Parkinson's Disease; Multiple Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); cardiopulmonary conditions; amputations; and post-trauma care (breaks, fractures).
In recent years, many hospital-based services for patients have shifted to in-home services, making VNAs and their caregivers an essential and ever-expanding part of the healthcare system. Hospitals now move patients back home faster than before as doing so reduces costs and opens in-hospital beds. This has led to a dramatic increase in the size of the region's at-home patient population as well as in the complexity of those patients.
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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.