Welcome!

News Feed Item

Baystate Franklin Medical Center Nurses Announce Plan to Conduct a One-day Unfair Labor Practice Strike Against Baystate Health on Feb. 10, says MNA/NNU

Nurses Call for Strike in Response to Baystate Health's Declaration of Impasse in Negotiations as Management Seeks to undermine Statewide Nursing Standards

GREENFIELD, Mass., Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The registered nurses of Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) have announced their plan to conduct a one-day unfair labor practice strike on Monday, Feb. 10, in direct response to Baystate Health's declaration of impasse last week in its negotiations for a new contract with the nurses and its plan to implement its last offer, which would eliminate a key nursing standard that serves to protect nurses from working prolonged shifts.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060525/NETH016LOGO)

"While we have made every effort to negotiate in good faith to avoid a strike, our employer has left us no choice with their appalling decision to ignore federal labor law and impose a settlement on our nurses, a settlement that would undermine a basic nursing standard in Massachusetts hospitals," said Linda Judd, RN, a longtime nurse at the hospital, a resident of Shelburne and co-chair of the nurses' local bargaining unit of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United. "Beyond any specific issue in dispute, this is a strike for justice in the workplace and the need for corporate giants like Baystate to uphold the law in their dealings with their employees." 

While the membership had cast an overwhelming vote to authorize the BFMC nurses' negotiating committee to call a strike last October, the decision to issue the required 10-day notice and to set a strike date was made by the committee this week, and the membership once again endorsed the decision at open meetings held last evening. The official notice will be delivered to the hospital on Jan. 30 with the 24-hour strike set to begin on Monday, Feb. 10, beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 7 a.m. on Feb. 11. This will be the second one-day strike by the BFMC nurses in the two years since negotiations began for a new contract in October of 2011. The first strike was held on Oct. 5, 2012.

The declaration of impasse came on the heels of two complaints the National Labor Relations Board has issued against Baystate Health for unfair labor practices. Coincidently, one of the complaints against Baystate Health was for a similar declaration of impasse in 2012 in Baystate's negotiations with the nurses who work at the Springfield-based Baystate VNA & Hospice. Ultimately, Baystate was forced to rescind its declaration of impasse and to continue negotiations with the nurses. 

The key issue preventing a settlement is Baystate Health's demand to eliminate the requirement that the employer pay overtime for consecutive hours worked beyond the end of an eight, ten or twelve hour shift. The nurses adamantly oppose this practice because they know this protection is in place in all MNA/NNU hospital contracts (which includes 70 percent of the hospitals in Massachusetts) and is a policy at most of the few non-union hospitals as well.

"The nurses have been clear – we want to reduce and eliminate overtime as a staffing tool. By contrast, Baystate simply wants to eliminate overtime pay, which removes the one disincentive from using overtime as a staffing tool," said Donna Stern, RN, a nurse at BFMC and co-chair of the nurses' local bargaining unit.

The nurses point out that this is not fundamentally an economic issue. Baystate said two years ago that the total daily overtime cost at BFMC for the RNs was $180,000 on an annual basis. Since then Baystate has revised that figure because it included weekly overtime as well. That figure has now dropped to approximately $60,000 annually. To put that figure in context, the total annual overtime costs for all 200 BFMC RNs is roughly equal to one week of Baystate Health CEO Mark Tolosky's pay and benefits.

Last summer, the NLRB issued complaints against Baystate for its refusal to provide information the nurses needed to evaluate the management's proposals at the table, as well as for management's efforts to prevent nurses from their lawful right to discuss union matters at work. In fact, Baystate is utilizing attorneys from Jackson Lewis, a high priced law firm known for its aggressive anti-union tactics, generating enormous legal fees that could be used to improve care for patients at the hospital. 

"It is outrageous that management would rather spend its resources to break the law instead of negotiating in good faith, as we are trying to do, to reach a settlement," said Stern. "We have even offered to put the outstanding issues before an independent arbitrator to reach a decision, yet Baystate has refused that offer and is now trying to unlawfully implement a set of their proposals."

In response to the hospital's action, the nurses have filed yet another set of unfair labor practice charges against the hospital with the NLRB, and are appealing to local and state officials for help in ending this conflict, 

There has been an outpouring of support for nurses' collective bargaining rights over the last year. At the Democratic State Convention held in Springfield last summer, the convention delegates unanimously passed a resolution calling on Baystate to conduct good faith negotiations with the MNA/NNU nurses and come to a fair agreement. The Greenfield City Council passed a similar resolution last year. Thousands of Franklin County residents have signed a petition of support for the Baystate Franklin Medical Center nurses and delegations of community supporters and elected officials have called on Baystate to avoid further conflict and settle a fair contract with the nurses at BFMC.

"The nurses appreciate the deep and broad community and political support that has been shown across Franklin County," Stern added, "and we ask all Franklin County residents to call on Baystate to work with the nurses to avoid a needless strike."

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. The MNA is a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.

SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Whether they’re located in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, cloud technologies are constantly evolving. While the innovation is exciting, the end mission of delivering business value and rapidly producing incremental product features is paramount. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Kiran Chitturi, CTO Architect at Sungard AS, will discuss DevOps culture, its evolution of frameworks and technologies, and how it is achieving maturity. He will also cover various st...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...