Nurses at Berkshire Medical Center set date for 2nd 1-day strike

The nurses allege the hospital is understaffed, which affects patient safety.

berkshire medical center
Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield is seen here in a WWLP file image.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Nurses at a western Massachusetts hospital have set a day for a second one-day strike as contract negotiations with management continue to stall.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that registered nurses at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield announced Thursday they will strike on Feb. 27 unless contract negotiations progress. The next negotiating session is Tuesday.

The nurses allege the hospital is understaffed, which affects patient safety.

The roughly 800 union members have been without a contract since September 2016.

The nurses held a one-day walkout in October. That was followed by a four-day lockout because the hospital had to hire almost 250 replacement nurses on a five-day contract.

Hospital officials say a second strike will cost up to $4 million and might force it to reallocate resources.