Nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center hold one day strike

Baystate chose to lock out the nurses Sunday night

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a contract dispute that goes back to last year.

More than 200 nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center have been negotiating with the hospital for a new contract since last November. They staged a one day strike Monday outside the hospital because of stalled negotiations. Baystate chose to lock out the nurses Sunday night. The hospital says the strike is illegal and that’s why the nurses are being locked out for an additional 48 hours. The nurses however, say they had the right.

“That’s just another excuse, delay tactic another, we are not sure, but that’s not the truth,” said Donna Stern Senior Co-Chair, of the MNA bargaining unit. “I mean, nurses don’t want to strike.”

All of the 200 nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center are part of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. They’re demanding better health insurance benefits and more staff at the hospital.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Cindy Russo told 22News they’re waiting to hear back from the MNA in the contract discussions.

“We were willing to do that throughout the weekend up until the time we were willing to take care of the patients, which was 7pm last night”, said Russo

Russo told 22News Baystate Franklin Medical Center brought in 60 temporary nurses to replace the hospitals 200 nurses that are locked out. Those nurses won’t be allowed back to work until 7 Wednesday night.

Russo said the hospital will remain in full operation during the lockout.The MNA ends their strike at 6 o’clock Tuesday morning.