Nurses Rally

In Greenfield, dozens of nurses and their supporters held a rally outside Baystate Franklin Medical Center hospital August 9. “Baystate is proposing language that would eliminate our right to negotiate over health insurance and wages,” said Donna Stern. She’s a nurse at the hospital, and a member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association union.

The workers formed a union www.MassNurses.org more than 30 years ago. They have had the union ever since. Currently, 209 nurses work at the hospital in Greenfield.

Linda Judd is a nurse at the hospital. “We have been at the table for 24 [contract bargaining] sessions,” she said. “Baystate continues to insist that we accept concessions that could have a very negative effect on our ability to deliver quality patient care.” Negotiations started in October.

The hospital bosses have been punishing nurses for getting sick. Forcing sick nurses to work “is unfair to the nurses and unsafe for our patients,” Judd said. The workers are demanding an end to this practice.

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