GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Registered Nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center are calling on the board of directors to focus more on patients and less on profits.

A small group of nurses delivered a petition to the Baystate Board of Trustees Chairman, seeking immediate action from the hospital. The petition is signed by more than 650 people.

The Franklin Nurses are asking for renewed efforts to recruit and retain nurses at the facility. They say a lack of respect from the hospital group is making staffing challenges worse, by driving nurses out of the field entirely.

“There’s a big wage disparity. Franklin Medial Center nurses start as lowest paid nurses in the state. Here we are during a pandemic, here we are with all these travel nurses getting paid a lot of money. They started offering us a 1% raise which isn’t enough considering inflation,” said Suzanne Love from the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

They outlined the goals of the petition in a statement sent to 22News, saying in part that executives must stop focusing on profits and value their nurses and patients.

Nurses have been negotiating a new MNA contract before the pandemic began. 22News reached out to Baystate Health for comment, but they declined.