HCN News & Notes

Baystate Franklin Medical Center Asks NLRB to Enjoin MNA Strike

GREENFIELD — Baystate Franklin Medical Center has asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for injunctive relief to stop the Massachusetts Nurses Assoc. (MNA) from conducting what Baystate believes is an illegal strike planned to begin Monday, June 26. The hospital’s request was made through an unfair-labor-practice charge filed with the NLRB’s regional office in Boston.

The hospital claims the MNA’s planned strike violates no-strike language in the labor contract between the hospital and union. While Baystate Franklin is working through the federal administrative process to prevent the MNA’s illegal strike, it also has put into action a comprehensive strike-contingency plan.

“The hospital has patients to serve and a community that depends on us for care. We will remain open and operational. We will be here for them,” said Cindy Russo, Baystate Franklin president.

Baystate Franklin’s strike contingency plan includes:

• Hiring licensed, experienced temporary nurses from a professional agency familiar with staffing these types of labor situations to ensure seamless care delivery;

• Consulting with physicians and other care providers to confirm most hospital services remain operational;

• Increasing security staffing to ensure Baystate Franklin patients, physicians, visitors, and employees can safely access the hospital;

• Coordinating with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to assure that rigorous policies and practices remain in effect for patient safety; and

• Working with Greenfield police and fire and rescue departments so streets around the hospital remain clear and ambulances continue to have access to the Emergency Department.

The MNA has told Baystate Franklin nurses, “we will expect everyone to stick together and honor the picket line. No one should cross a picket line as a strike breaker under any circumstances anywhere ever.” Given the union’s position, Baystate Franklin does not want nurses to risk experiencing union retaliation, union discipline, or even union fines.

Baystate Franklin will lock out the MNA-represented nurses beginning on Sunday, June 25 at 7 p.m. The temporary nurses will begin caring for patients at that time, and will continue to care for patients until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28.

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