Nurses group picket outside Baystate headquarters

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Nurses took part in an informational picket outside Baystate Health headquarters in Springfield on Monday.

The nurses said they were advocating for safe patient care and affordable health insurance.

“Because we weren’t getting the satisfaction there we brought the fight here to make our cause known,” said Paul Dubin of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. “We wan’t our patients to get the best and finest care they can.”

They are calling on Baystate Health executives to allow local management to make fair contract agreements that would protect patient care.

They are also asking that the contract improve the quality of working conditions for registered nurses.

“The most important thing that we’re trying to send to Baystate is that we know that [they’re] making all the decisions,” Donna Stern, a nurse at Baystate Franklin told 22News. “Local bargaining teams have no power or say, and so we’re bringing the message here.”

Nurses back to work after lockout at Baystate Franklin Medical Center

Baystate Health issued a statement saying they are disappointed by the union’s ongoing use of a pubic pressure campaign and tactics during negotiations with their Greenfield and Westfield hospitals.

Baystate Health also said they believe staffing should be determined by caregivers to address the changing need of patients, not by rules in a labor contract.

Baystate Franklin and Baystate Noble recently presented the Massachusetts Nurses Association with their final offer. The MNA told 22News they will share those offers with members soon.