Baystate Franklin nurses on strike over contract negotiations

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Nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center are striking over contract negotiations once again.

Suzanne Love is an ER nurse at Baystate Franklin. She told 22News both sides have agreed on healthcare and wages, but that they don’t agree on staffing.

Love says they need more staff for adequate patient care.

Nurses say that they’re further along in negotiations now than they were a year and a half ago. They’re still not quite ready to sign, though.

They are picketing for safer staffing levels.
To start, union nurses are demanding a charge nurse who would be in charge of each unit instead of caring for their own individual patients.

“If the other nurses already have very heavy patient assignments, having that extra nurse who is an expert [who] can help out is crucial,” says Love.

 Deb Provost, the Chief Regulatory Officer at Baystate Franklin told 22News the hospital needs all hands on deck. Both sides agree that they need a charge nurse, but they disagree on that person’s responsibilities.

“That nurse wouldn’t be able to pitch in with patient care because as part of the contract it would say that that nurse would have no patient care responsibilities, but just be the charge nurse,” says Provost.

The nurses are locked out of Baystate through Friday. Both sides hope to reach an agreement soon. 

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