Local Rallies for Public Transit, Peace, Justice

On September 17, 19, 20, and 21, there will be rallies in Springfield and Northampton calling for better public transportation, for peace, and for justice. On September 20 in Springfield, a 90 minute rally will start at 11 a.m. at the corner of Main Street and Liberty streets. The rally will oppose a plan now in Congress to cut 35 percent of federal funding for public transportation. Details are at www.SupportTransit.org

On September 19 in Northampton, a 30 minute rally will start at noon. The rally will be at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, outside the main entrance at 30 Locust Street (aka Route 9). Leo Maley is a spokesman for the nurses’ union www.MassNurses.org which is organizing the rally.

“We’re rallying in support of the Patient Safety bill now in the Massachusetts state legislature,” Maley said. “The bill calls on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to set safe limits on the number of hospital patients a nurse can be forced to care for at once. Another bill now in the state legislature would prohibit the dangerous practice of utilizing mandatory overtime as a means of staffing hospitals. Scientific research makes clear that poor staffing and mandatory overtime cause thousands of preventable deaths each year.”

At noon on September 17 on the steps of Northampton City Hall, Maley’s union will rally in support of a just union contract for nurses at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. The nurses are now in contract negotiations.

“In response to an increase in patient assignments, nurses are calling for nurse staffing language to ensure that patients receive the care they need when they need it,” Maley said. “The hospital is for sale. The nurses need to have successor language to protect their union rights and contract no matter who takes over. The nurses are also fighting to secure their pension. Recently the hospital tried to end the nurses’ pension. Now the hospital wants to stop providing a pension for new nurses.”

Finally, on September 21 at noon there will be a one hour rally at 300 State Street in Springfield in front of Congressman Richard Neal’s office. Protesters will ask Neal to act to cut war spending, raise taxes on the rich, and use the money for Social Security, Medicare, and similar programs to help the poor. More information is available from Tim Carpenter (tim@pdamerica.org) and www.PDamerica.org


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