Baystate Franklin Medical Center unionized nurses staged a 24-hour strike Wednesday outside the hospital’s main entrance.
Nurses and community members held picket signs, and held rallies expressing their frustrations with the hospital. The nurses were locked out on Tuesday.
“Do you think nurses want to to be striking? I want to be taking care of my patients, but I also have an obligation under the code of ethics for nursing to advocate for my patients and do all that’s possible to protect my patients,” said Donna Stern, registered nurse and senior co-chair of the MNA Bargaining Committee.
The MNA said Baystate Franklin Medical Center nurses are making a lot less money than nurses in other Massachusetts hospitals. The nurses are demanding more money, but they are most concerned with staffing.
“We have come to an agreement on many of the points in our contract, but we still need the right kind of staffing for our patients, said Suzanne Love, registered nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.
Love said that would include a “charge nurse” on the medical surgical unit who is available 24/7.
Baystate Franklin Medical Center said full-time nurses make an average of $75,000 per year and that would increase $4,000 with their proposed salary increase. The hospital expects this strike to cost them $1 million.
Baystate Franklin Medical Center said they will remain fully operational for the remainder of the lockout.
The lockout is scheduled to end Friday night.