Baystate Franklin Nurses reach tentative agreement with Baystate - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Baystate Franklin Nurses reach tentative agreement with Baystate Health

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GREENFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Baystate Franklin Medical Center officials and their nurses have reached contract agreements.

A press conference was held Friday afternoon at The Hotel Northampton.

This deal has been two years in the making but finally this afternoon reps from both sides were able to come together and finally make an agreement.

Donna Stern and Linda Judd are two nurses at Baystate Franklin who lead the negotiations for their fellow nurses.

"I am ecstatic to say the least," said Stern.

"Total relief and the only word I can think of is jubilant," said Judd.  

The final details of the negotiations were ironed out in meetings held on Thursday and Friday.

A process both sides said was  fair and done with the community in mind.

"It was refreshing. I felt both sides were really listening to one another," said Judd.  

"It made us comfortable becoming vulnerable with each other, putting aside our old grievances and looking at what was in the best interest of the community in a very skillful way," said Steven Bradley, Vice President of Community Relations and Public Affairs for Baystate Medical Center.

It's tentative agreement that adds two more years to the nurses contracts giving them a total of five years instead of three.

"Through this contract, we as nurses can continue our patient," said Stern.  

Some highlights of the agreement include Baystate withdrawing a proposal to get rid of daily overtime, an increase in share of family health insurance from 70 percent to 75 percent and a four percent increase in pay raise for 2014. An additional one percent raise will be given for each year after.

"It's a stable contract. No one will be worrying about negotiations. It's back to giving the best care to our patients," said Judd.  

"We can turn our attention to make sure patient care is the best in Western Mass," said Bradley.  

The contract ends on Dec. 31 2016. Stern said the nurses will then once again begin new negotiations for another contract.

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