SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Aug. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Baystate Health nurses represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association will hold an informational picket outside Baystate's corporate headquarters in Springfield on Monday, Aug. 7. Nurses and their supporters will call on Baystate executives to allow local management to make fair contract agreements that protect patient care and allow quality RN working conditions.
What: Informational picket by Baystate Franklin Medical Center and Baystate Noble Hospital nurses and their supporters. Nurses are advocating for safe patient care and quality, affordable health insurance after Baystate Health executives in Springfield have refused to allow fair bargaining for many months.
When: Monday, Aug 7 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Where: Outside Baystate Health HQ at 280 Chestnut St. in Springfield.
"Nurses have been actively negotiating on behalf of our patients and colleagues for months, but local management has no power to bargain in good faith," said Donna Stern, RN Senior Co-Chair of the BFMC MNA Bargaining Unit. "Instead, executives from Baystate's corporate offices in Springfield refuse to actually negotiate. They delay, mislead the public and bully nurses and other staff. We want Baystate to be held accountable for providing safe patient care at all times, while Baystate wants to stop us at all costs."
"MNA nurses have a voice because we stand together as a union," said Paul Dubin, RN Co-Chair of the Noble MNA Bargaining Unit. "We are the voice of our patients and our colleagues when they cannot speak. By trying to silence MNA nurses, Baystate is going after the communities it is supposed to serve."
"The public built and paid for our hospitals," said Jillian Cycz, Junior RN Co-Chair of the BFMC MNA Bargaining Unit. "Baystate is a non-profit and should be using its tax dollars and generous public donations to serve its patients and communities rather than giving its executives incredible salaries and special retirement benefits. Public tax dollars and donations – along with nurses and other staff members – are what keep Baystate operating."
"All nurses want is a fair contract that allows us to provide the best possible patient care," said Pam Fournier, RN Co-Chair of the Noble MNA Bargaining Unit. "Baystate has refused to bargain in good faith with us over this key issue and so we will stand together and take our fight to the decision-makers in Springfield."
MNA nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield and Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield have been trying for more than a year to negotiate fair contracts. BFMC nurses began bargaining in November 2016 and Noble nurses in February 2016. The nurses have been bargaining in good faith the entire time, trying to reach an agreement that ensures safe patient care and quality RN working conditions. Nurses are also seeking quality affordable health insurance, but Baystate has refused to bargain in good faith over these core issues.
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association