HCN News & Notes

With No Deal in Place, Baystate Franklin Prepares for Nursing Strike

GREENFIELD — Baystate Franklin Medical Center and the Massachusetts Nurses Assoc. (MNA) continued negotiations on Friday but ended without reaching an agreement. The parties remain far apart on health insurance and the union’s statewide agenda for staffing ratios.

“We presented the MNA with a comprehensive proposal and were prepared to negotiate as long as it would take to come to terms,” said Cindy Russo, Baystate Franklin president. “It is so disturbing that the MNA’s bargaining committee ended negotiations, unwilling to continue discussions today and unwilling to agree to the next bargaining date.”

Since the MNA announced its intent to strike at Baystate Franklin, hospital leaders and staff have been preparing the hospital. “Baystate Franklin will be open and operational for our patients and community even if the MNA proceeds with its strike,” Russo said.

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.

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