SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Feb. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Registered Nurses of two Baystate Health units will be picketing at Baystate's dedication of their new hospital. Members of the Massachusetts Nurses Associations' bargaining units at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield and the Baystate Visiting Nurses Association will be protesting Baystate's union busting tactics and the unreasonable concessionary demands they have put forward during current negotiations.
"At the same time they are dedicating their $250 million 'Hospital of the Future' their contract proposals would decimate our ability to negotiate an equitable contract and compromise the future for the nurses who go into the community every day to care for patients in Greater Springfield. We expect a very large contingent of labor and community supporters to join us at the ceremony," said VNA Committee member Chris Clark, RN.
According to Baystate Franklin Medical Center Co-Chair Donna Stern, RN, the goal of the picketing is clear. "We want the community to understand that we are very serious about retaining our union rights, as those rights are key to providing nurses the ability to advocate for better working conditions and safer patient care. We are not out to embarrass Baystate, but we plan to be very creative in getting the message across that Baystate made $61 million in the last fiscal year and is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on bricks and mortar while attacking the caregivers who have the greatest impact on your health and safety when you are most vulnerable, whether it's in the hospital or in your home."
Baystate has launched a public campaign about what a great community partner they are but according to Clark this partnership is not apparent in the workplace, "We see only confrontation and demands at the table that forfeit the bargaining rights guaranteed by our contract. If they truly want to be seen as partners it has to start at home."
In addition to the picket the nurses will be launching a public information campaign next week with a billboard on Rt. 91 in downtown Springfield. The billboard design is below.
WHEN: February 28, 2012 TIME: 9:30 a.m. WHERE: Baystate's New Facility on Chestnut St. Springfield WHO: Registered Nurses and Their Supporters