Nurses' Negotiations with Baystate Health Breakdown Last Night -- One-Day Strike is On for Friday, Oct. 5

WHERE: Nurses will gather outside Baystate Franklin Medical Center to conduct strike picketing at 164 High Street in Greenfield, MA

WHEN: At 7 a.m. on Oct. 5 nurses will gather outside the hospital to greet their colleagues exiting the building and begin the 24-hour strike

Nurses Will Picket for 24 hours and will be prepared to re-enter the hospital on Oct. 6 at 7 a.m. to resume care of patients

GREENFIELD, Mass., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 209 nurses of Baystate Franklin Medical Center will conduct a one-day strike on Friday, Oct. 5 after a negotiating session held Wednesday night broke down without a settlement.


Nurses have called for the strike in response to Baystate Health System's unfair labor practices, as well as to their demands for unreasonable concessions from the nurses, including proposals that will strip them of key union rights, will increase the dangerous use of overtime to staff the hospital and will discipline nurses for using legitimate sick time, thus forcing them to care for patients when they are ill.

"Baystate has taken some very radical positions that would be harmful to quality patient care and they continue to demand concessions from the nurses that would cost the nurses thousands of dollars and deeply cut into their ability to negotiate over wages and health insurance. In order to protect the quality of our patient care and the integrity of our union contract we had to call a strike," said Donna Stern, RN and co-chair of the bargaining committee.

Linda Judd, RN has worked at Baystate Franklin Medical Center for over thirty years and is also co-chair of the bargaining committee. "In the last ten years I have seen Baystate come into our community hospital and try to strip us of any caring and humanity. They have little concern for the Franklin County area. Over and over we have seen patients needlessly transferred to Springfield, not to serve the patients needs but to serve Baystate's insatiable appetite for profit."

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest professional health care organization and 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. The MNA is also a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.

SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association