Letter: Unhealthy situation

In recent weeks, the citizens of Franklin County have had the pleasure of reading two full page ads by Baystate Corporation, explaining why the nurses employed at Baystate Franklin Medical Center must take pay cuts. Baystate-Franklin President Chuck Gijanto (who received $418,409 in total compensation in 2010) claims that these cuts in pay are necessary because Baystate Corporation needed to save 1.8 million per year “in anticipation of major cuts coming from Medicare.”

Baystate has 10,000 employees. Baystate has already forced all their employees except for the 240 nurses in Greenfield to take pay cuts. This means Baystate cut the pay of their employees about $180 per person. (1.8 million divided by 10,000) Cutting the pay of the nurses in Greenfield would save Baystate about $43,000 per year (240 nurses times $180).

This is chicken feed.

Baystate Corporation, after expenses, earned $46.6 million in 2012. They pay the CEO of Baystate, Mark Tolosky, $1.75 million per year (as of 2010) This is nothing more then corporate greed, to cut the pay of workers so that those on the top can have more. Gijanto tries to sidetrack the discussion by raising the bogey man of the National Nurses Union, that the Greenfield nurses belong to. He neglects to mention that it was only the Greenfield nurses who democratically voted to strike after Baystate Corporation rejected having an independent arbitrator decide the issue of overtime. This raises the question, do we need Baystate to run Franklin Medical Center? Would we be better off returning to Franklin County Public Hospital? We are seeing the consequences of having corporate control of our hospital, pay cuts, and cuts in services that make us drive to Springfield for care that used to be done in Greenfield. Baystate has been working hard to convince the public that they are not cutting services at Franklin, but in the latest multi-page insert of The Recorder we see different. The insert extols the virtues of Baystate’s new center for pediatric care, but it’s not in Greenfield, it’s in Springfield. Baystate Corporation is not good for the health of Franklin County citizens, perhaps we need to take back our hospital.



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