Baystate Franklin nurses postpone strike, return to bargaining table

Nurses at Greenfield, Mass.-based Baystate Franklin Medical Center withdrew their notice to strike Feb. 28.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association, which represents about 200 BFMC nurses, said in a statement nurses agreed Feb. 23 to withdraw their one-day strike notice after hospital officials asked them to do so to return to negotiations Feb. 26.

"Nurses agreed to bargain while hoping for progress toward a contract that must include improvements to RN staffing and patient care, along with decent health insurance," the statement reads.

If BFMC nurses had followed through with the Feb. 28 planned strike, hospital officials said those who participated would not have been able to return to work until 7 p.m. March 2.

Both sides have been in negotiations since November 2016. Negotiations have been contentious at times, resulting in a one-day strike in June. Most recently, the MNA authorized a potential one-day strike Feb. 8, and a strike notice was issued Feb. 16. Additionally, the hospital recently rejected an offer from U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., to host negotiations between the hospital and union. 

The MNA said nurses could still decide to re-issue their strike notice if necessary. In the meantime, union officials told Becker's both sides went back to the bargaining table Feb. 26 and will continue negotiations Feb. 28.

Becker's Hospital Review reached out to the hospital and will post additional details as they become available.


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