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Letter: The hours game

Baystate Franklin Medical Center can’t escape the identity of “the bully,” threatening to cut 10 nurses’ jobs at the hospital, rather than allow the (reasonable) definition of “overtime” for nurses to occur as time worked beyond eight hours. (The nurses aren’t even looking for the extra hour before or after their normal eight-hour shift — when the leaving nurses inform the incoming nurses on patients — to be considered “overtime.”)

Many nurses ordinarily work 24 or 36 hours per week. Therefore, many nurses — who are asked to work additional hours (when the number of patients on the floor requires additional nurses) — never reach the “40-hour-per-week” mark, but these nurses certainly DO work overtime, well beyond their eight-hour shift. Baystate Hospital Franklin Medical Center insists, instead, that the “starting point” of “overtime” pay for their nurses begin only after the nurse has worked put in a 40-hour week.

The nurses’ insistance that “overtime” be defined as “working after the eight-hour shift” rather than work “additional” to a 40-hour work week seems completely reasonable. I wonder why Cooley Dickinson partnered with Mass General, rather than the Baystate Hospital System?

KATHERINE CONWAY

Leverett

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