Baystate Franklin, nurses OK labor deal: 7 things to know

Registered nurses of Greenfield, Mass.-based Baystate Franklin Medical Center ratified a contract with the hospital June 11 after two strikes and more than a year of negotiations.

Here are seven things to know about the deal:

1. The agreement, which covers about 200 Baystate Franklin nurses represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017, and runs through Dec. 31, 2021.

2. It addresses various patient care issues, including staffing. The hospital has agreed to post and recruit positions "to fill such positions that are necessary for the hospital to meet its contract obligations," according to the union. It also has agreed to assign a charge/admission nurse throughout the day and night in the mental health unit, and not to give a patient assignment to charge nurses in the operating room.

3. The deal also provides raises for nurses, who will receive 50 cents more per hour for every hour paid last year and through the first full pay period after ratification, according to the union. The contract also includes a 2.5 percent across-the-board raise the first full pay period after ratification, along with other pay increases over the life of the contract.

4. Other parts of the labor deal include the creation of a new nurse float pool and language related to workplace violence prevention.

5. Ron Bryant, president of Baystate Franklin, praised the ratification of new contract language, calling it "a key step in maintaining access to high quality healthcare in Franklin County."

"The final agreement continues our commitment to market competitive wages and staffing models that provide high quality care to our community," he stated to  Becker's Hospital Review. "With new leadership firmly established, Baystate Franklin Medical Center is now positioned to focus on advancing outstanding healthcare outcomes for our community."

6. Donna Stern, RN and senior co-chair of the Baystate Franklin MNA Bargaining Committee, also praised the agreement.

She said: "Unity truly is our strength. We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished for our patients, nurses, all hospital staff and community. The value of standing together for what is right and not backing down cannot be overstated. Our fight was long and difficult at times, but we persevered and achieved an amazing contract."

7. The agreement comes after nearly18 months of contentious negotiations. Nurses went on strike in June and April.

 

More articles on human capital and risk:

Washington state nurses picket over staffing
University of Vermont Medical Center nurses to vote on strike
Bartlett Regional Hospital workers get pay hike in 3-year labor deal

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