Baystate Franklin to meet with unionized nurses Friday before scheduled strike

Baystate Franklin Medical Center called the strike "illegal"

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Unionized nurses are planning a one-day strike at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield next week.

The Hospital announced Wednesday that they plan to lock the nurses out for three days.

Baystate Franklin medical center in Greenfield said the nurses union’s planned one-day walkout is illegal. Their attorneys have asked the National Labor Relations board to step in to prevent the walkout.

Massachusetts Nurses Association spokeswoman Jillian Cycz denies the union’s planned strike is illegal.

She told 22News nurse staffing is insufficient to fill all the shifts, impacting both patients and nurses.

“For example, I work 12 hour shifts, my average, I don’t get home until 14 hours, I can tell my family when I’m coming home,” Cycz said. “They can’t guarantee I’ll have a day off.”

Baystate Franklin President Cindy Russo explained to 22News they have a disagreement involving the demands for set staffing numbers of nurses.

“What they would like us to put in the contract language is information around staffing grid, staffing guidelines and we don’t believe that will provide us the flexibility that we need to take care of the patients in the best, safe quality manner that we want to,” Russo, said.

There is still time to avert the nurse’s strike set for Monday morning. The two sides meet again Friday morning at St. James Episcopal Church in Greenfield to hopefully work out their differences.

If they can’t reach an agreement, the pickets will be walking outside the hospital Monday morning.

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