GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Greenfield city counselors met with unionized nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.
Five Greenfield City councilors went with the nurses to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield to try and meet with the CEO but they were told he was not in the building.
The councilors and nurses then moved to Noonan Energy, who’s owner is a member of the Baystate Board. They were told the board member was not there, and they were asked to leave.
“We were hoping that someone from Noonan Energy would talk to our city councilors, because the trustees have a lot of influence and say in how Baystate is run,” said Donna Stern, co-chair of MNA Bargaining Unit.
Unionized nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center have been trying to work out a new contract with the hospital for 16 months.
They’re demanding better health insurance, staffing, and more money. The nurses have scheduled a one-day strike for next Wednesday, February 28.
The hospital notified the nurses they will be locked out for three days, just like after their first strike last June.
Stern told 22News the hospital is not being cooperative in the negotiations.
“They made statements saying they are willing to sit across the table or willing to go through a federal mediator,” Stern said. “None of that is happening. None of that is happening. In our opinion those are bold face lies.”
Baystate sent 22News a statement that said in part:
“We find it unfortunate that the MNA is choosing to strike rather than come to the table to negotiate – especially since we gave them dates to continue our negotiations prior to their strike notice, yet they declined to meet.”
Stern said they plan to strike in front of Baystate Franklin Medical Center next Wednesday beginning at 7 in the morning.
The hospital’s full statement is below:
We learned of the Greenfield city councilors planned trip to Springfield via the media.
Should the councilors have an interest in their community hospital in Greenfield, we suggest they schedule a time to meet with Baystate Franklin leadership in Greenfield.
The collective bargaining process is ongoing with a federal mediator involved and it is the mediator’s job to communicate between the union representing Baystate Franklin’s registered nurses and the hospital leadership regarding contract negotiation matters. We look forward to contract resolution through appropriate processes, and find it unfortunate that the MNA is choosing to strike rather than come to the table to negotiate – especially since we gave them dates to continue our negotiations prior to their strike notice, yet they declined to meet.”
-Shelly Hazlett, Spokeswoman