Baystate Franklin nurses to picket amid contract negotiations

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Nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass., will picket April 27 in hopes of expediting a contract agreement, reports The Recorder.

The workers are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Ongoing contract negotiations between the MNA and the hospital's owner, Springfield, Mass.-based Baystate Health, have focused on staffing, according to the report, among other issues such as wages and health insurance coverage.

"It is not a strike but it is an opportunity to let the hospital know that the nurses and the community are unified and that this is our community hospital," union chapter Chair Donna Stern said in the report.

In response to the planned picket, Baystate Franklin released a statement to The Recorder, saying the organization "continues to make every effort to reach agreement on a fair contract for our nurses." The statement added: "We continue to be disappointed that the MNA is using a series of tactics designed to distract attention from our efforts at the bargaining table."

The two sides have been at the bargaining table since last November, according to the report. Last month, nurses filed six federal unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing Baystate Health of engaging in illegal bargaining practices. The nurses have also authorized a possible strike.

 

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