Springfield Nurses Rally Is February 28

Nurses are asking the public to join them at a rally for justice in Springfield on February 28 at 9:30 a.m. “We want the community to understand that we are very serious about retaining our union rights,” said Donna Stern. She’s a nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. “Those rights are key to providing nurses the ability to advocate for better working conditions and safer patient care.”

The union rally will coincide with a corporate PR event. Baystate Health System Corporation will unveil its new $252 million hospital in Springfield.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association www.MassNurses.org is a union with 23,000 members. It represents the nurses at two Baystate facilities: Baystate Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice in Springfield and at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

Both groups of nurses are currently in contract negotiations with Baystate for new labor contracts. Baystate has hired the union-busting law firm of Jackson Lewis to fight the nurses.

In recent decades, the richest Americans have gotten richer, while the middle class has gotten smaller and the ranks of the poor have swelled. Union workers in the U.S. make about 29 percent more money than non-union workers. That’s around $9,300 a year extra for the average worker who joins a union. For Latino workers, the union advantage is about 50 percent; for black workers, approximately 31 percent. This data is from www.bls.gov

Unions give workers a voice in their workplace, and allow them to stand up for themselves if their bosses are hostile. More information on the labor movement in the Valley is at:

www.ValleyPost.org/node/134

Directions to the February 28 rally at 759 Chestnut Street in Springfield are at:

www.baystatehealth.com/Baystate/Main+Nav/About+Us/Locations/Baystate+Med...

More information about the rally is available by phone from union official Joe Twarog at (781) 571-9959. People may reserve a place on a bus from Greenfield or Northampton to the February 28 rally by contacting Leo Maley at LMaley@mnarn.org or (781) 520-1483.

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