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News Coverage of Our 1-Day Strike at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, MA

Several Sources, 10/9/12

Nurses' strike ends at Baystate Franklin Medical Center

GREENFIELD – Nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center returned to work at 7 a.m. on Saturday after their 24-hour strike. The strike began at 7 a.m. Friday.

The next negotiation session between the Massachusetts Nurses Association and Baystate Franklin Medical Center is set for Oct. 25.

“We already have several offers on the table that have been there for the past two bargaining sessions - including wage increases, bonuses to address critical shift overtime, and health insurance changes - which the union has yet to respond to with counter offers.

“The ball is now in their court, and we are hoping they will get serious about making progress since we have no intention of simply negotiating against ourselves,” Chuck Gijanto, Baystate Franklin Medical Center president, said in a statement released on Saturday.

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At strike, Baystate Franklin nurses get honks of support from passing motorists

GREENFIELD -- At dawn, a long blue line of striking nurses began encircling Baystate Franklin Medical Center, protesting the failure of hospital management and the nurses' union to come to a deal over critical issues in their contract.

Beginning at 7 a.m., the group set off from the corner of Beacon and High streets amid cool temperatures and the yet-to-burn-off fog. Almost immediately, passing motorists showed their support by honking their horns.

The nurses wore blue Massachusetts Nursing Association jackets and carried signs reading "Nurses on strike for patient care" and "Baystate: Stop union busting." Their chants could be heard from inside the hospital's lobby.

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Baystate Franklin Medical nurses strike draws hundreds of participants, supporters

GREENFIELD – Just shy of 4 p.m. Friday, nearly 600 supporters had held signs, marched and rang bells outside of Baystate Franklin Medical Center nine hours into the 24-hour nurses strike.

More would be coming through the night to protest the stalled contract talks between the nurses’ union and the Springfield-based Baystate Health Systems, said Donna Stern, co-chairwoman of the union bargaining committee.

She had been on site since 6 a.m. and said she would stay until midnight. She had to work at 7 a.m. so she said she was going home to sleep. The strike is scheduled to end then.

There have been 28 bargaining sessions since last October without a settlement. The nurses - members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association - voted to go on strike Aug. 30 if necessary and then had to provide the hospital with a 10-day notice for Friday’s action.

Stern said they had support from nurses from New York, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, United Auto Workers, and politicians including U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, who marched for more than an hour earlier in the day. Members of the Franklin County Technical Teachers Association also came by to hold signs in support when their school day ended.

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Baystate Franklin Nurses Head Back to Work after One Day Strike

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center headed back to work Saturday morning after one-day strike.

The 209 nurses walked of the job at 7:00 a.m. Friday and returned to the Franklin County hospital in unison at 7:00 a.m. Saturday.

Friday’s job action, which the union says is the first in the hospital’s history, came after months of negotiations over a new contract.

The Mass. Nurses Association sees the strike as a success, in part because of the community support shown through car horn’s honking throughout the day, as well as food and beverages that were dropped off by residents.

“We were pushed to call the strike in order to protect our community hospital and guarantee our continued delivery of safe patient care. It is so very heartening to see the massive amount of support from the community. Cleary the citizens and patients of Franklin County understand the issues and are supportive of our efforts. We want to thank all of them for all they have done,” says bargaining unit co-chair Donna Stern, RN.

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