Baystate to lock-out unionized nurses, calls nurses’ strike “illegal”

The lock-out is expected to begin Sunday at 7PM

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Franklin Medical Center said they will lock out unionized nurses who plan to go on strike next week. This is will extend their one-day walkout to three days.

Unionized nurses won’t work for three days next week at the medical center in Greenfield, and it’s not completely by choice.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association, which represents 200 registered nurses at Baystate Franklin, announced last week they would strike for 24 hours starting Sunday night, because of stalled contract negotiations.

The nurses’ previous contract expired December 31, and they said the number of hours they’re being made to work is unfair.

Wednesday, those nurses were shocked to learn Baystate intends to lock them out for three days in response to the union’s plan to hold a one-day strike.

Baystate Health said that during the lockout, the unionized nurses will be replaced with “temporary nurses.”

In a statement sent to 22News, Baystate Health called the strike “illegal,” saying it violates the labor contract between the hospital and the Massachusetts Nurses’ Association.

Baystate said temporary nurses will care for patients during this lockout, which is expected to start Sunday night at 7 p.m., and last through Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

At last check, negotiations were still underway between the hospital and the union.