Baystate Franklin nurses plan strike after impasse - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Baystate Franklin nurses plan strike after impasse in negotiations

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Disagreements continue in Greenfield as Baystate Franklin Medical Center nurses announced Wednesday night they will be holding a strike on Monday, Feb. 10.

They tell CBS 3 they're responding to Baystate Health's declaration of an impasse in negotiations.

Last week Baystate Franklin Medical Center declared an impasse, immediately putting into effect changes they have sought through contract talks.

The changes include a 3.25 percent wage increase and bonuses up to $1,000.

The hospital will also start transitioning to paying overtime on a weekly basis rather than a daily basis.

That has been a major sticking point in negotiations.

"While we have made every effort to negotiate in good faith to avoid a strike, our employer has left us no choice with their appalling decision to ignore federal labor law and impose a settlement on our nurses, a settlement that would undermine a basic nursing standard in Massachusetts hospitals," said Linda Judd, RN, a longtime nurse at the hospital and co-chair of the nurses' local bargaining unit of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United.

"Beyond any specific issue in dispute, this is a strike for justice in the workplace and the need for corporate giants like Baystate to uphold the law in their dealings with their employees," Judd said. 

CBS 3 reached out to Baystate Health for comment.  

Chuck Gijanto, president of Baystate Franklin Medical Center, sent us a statement saying:

"Baystate Franklin Medical Center will continue caring for patients as usual throughout the MNA's disruptive activity.  At a time when many community hospitals are struggling to remain viable, we are investing – in our facilities, our services and last week, in our nurses, with raises of 3.25% or more and improved benefits. It's unfortunate that the MNA sees another strike as a reasonable response to our modest request to bring overtime pay in line with that of the rest of Baystate Health, as well as with the vast majority of hourly workers in America – a shift that across our organization represents annual savings of $1.8 million, at a time when every dollar counts."

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