Progress reported between nurses and Baystate

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

GREENFIELD — Things may have started to turn the corner in negotiations over a new contract between the nurses union and Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

Following a recent informal meeting between the two sides, both groups say that they have made some progress in regards to the ongoing labor dispute that is now more than a year old.

The nurses union leadership will meet once against with Baystate Franklin President Cindy Russo on Dec. 18 to continue the conversation, before sitting down at the formal negotiation table, again.

“Even though there was no specific feedback from them, we felt hopeful for the first time and felt they heard us for the first time,” said local union chairwoman Donna Stern. “We’re hopeful that when we come back the 18th, we can reach some agreements around the staffing.”

Stern said Russo discussed with her and her fellow nursing management about their key issue — staffing. The Massachusetts Nurses Association advocates for safe staffing ratios, which they are working to get on the ballot for the 2018 November elections.

“We continue to work hard to find a way to reach a fair agreement on behalf of the nurses at Baystate Franklin,” hospital spokeswoman Molly MacMunn said. “We are encouraged by recent conversations and while there still are a number of issues that need to be addressed we hope to continue a productive and respectful dialogue.”