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Letter: Letter begs response

In his “open letter to the community” (aka paid advertisement) Chuck Gijanto, Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s president, implies that nurses who work any hours beyond their scheduled ones earn time-and-a-half pay. This is simply untrue. Most part time nurses DO pick up extra shifts — both scheduled and last-minute — but at straight pay.

(In fact, this practice allows the hospital to staff itself with part-timers who save the corporation hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits.)

The “sticking point” about time-and-a-half pay applies to situations when nurses must stay beyond the end of their shift. Overtime pay in this situation is absolutely standard in nursing. Nurses generally hate overtime. The extra pay acts both as a deterrent to its use by management, and an incentive for nurses to step up and agree to stay late when patient care demands it.

Contrary to Mr. Gijanto’s assertion, FMC nurses are not calling present working conditions “unsafe.” It’s future ones we’re worried about.

KATY ROBBINS, BSN

OB nurse at Franklin Medical Center

Greenfield

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