SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Nurses at Mercy Medical Center are fighting for fair contracts. They say they need more assistance to help care for their patients, there isn’t enough staffing and not enough equipment to care for the patients.

Dozens of nurses from Mercy stood outside the chair of the Trinity Health of New England board of directors’ office on Main Street Wednesday morning, demanding more respect and fair contracts. More than 800 people have signed a petition to the board of directors of Mercy Medical Center asking them to restore time-off benefits, improved health insurance costs and a fair wage increase. Nurses say it has only gotten worse since the pandemic began last March.

“We are constantly trying to get people out of the ER but we don’t have enough nurses to get them out of the ER and it gets backed up. It’s just a bad situation and with all the psych beds that have closed, we have to hold psych patients. Some psych patients are held in the ED for days,” said Alex Wright, a nurse at Mercy Medical Center.

A spokesperson for Trinity Health responded to the petition with a statement, “Safety is a core value for Mercy Medical Center and we are committed to providing a safe care environment for our patients and for all of our colleagues.”

The original contract expired in December 2020 and they have been holding rallies every since.