Greenfield Nurses Will Strike

On February 10, the 209 nurses who work at the Greenfield hospital will go on strike. The strike was approved by a vote of the nurses. “One day last week I had to work until 10 p.m. I start at 7 a.m.,” Linda Judd told the Valley Post in October. She is a nurse at the hospital. “They don't let you leave until you finish all your paperwork.”

Workers in the U.S. died in the fight for the eight hour day, and the 40 hour workweek. Before that victory, workers usually worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. The story of this struggle is told in the book “There Is Power in a Union,” published by Random House in 2011.

Donna Stern is also a nurse at the hospital. "Our country has been taken over by corporations,” she told the Valley Post in October. “Our democracy has been hijacked. To take it back, we need to start local.” The Greenfield hospital, long locally owned, was bought by a major corporation that pays its CEO about $2 million a year, Stern said. “I'm struggling to pay my student loans,” she said.

“We are chronically under staffed and over worked,” Stern said. “All the studies by major medical journals show that under staffing is bad for patients' health. We have been negotiating a new contract for two years. We are making no progress. The company wants to get rid of our union.”

The nurses have a web site: www.MassNurses.org. The public is invited to join the nurses on the picket line.

The below photo was taken during a 2012 strike by the nurses at the Greenfield hospital. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” Photo used by MassNurses.org.

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from MassNurses.org

GREENFIELD, Mass — The registered nurses of Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract, averting a one-day strike that was planned for Monday, Feb. 10. The pact provides protections the nurses had sought to prevent the use of mandatory overtime as an alternative to providing safe staffing at the hospital. It also includes improvements to the nurses’ health insurance benefit and will grant the nurses pay raises.

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