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At WMass Hospitals, Contract Negotiations Continue

Dave Roback / The Republican
Nurses on the picket line at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass. during a one-day strike in June 2017.

Contract negotiations continue between management and nurses at multiple western Mass hospitals.

At Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, the nurses union voted to authorize a strike last week. They will return to the bargaining table Monday. The nurses have been without a contract for almost a year.

"We are very disappointed that the union has taken a second step now towards a strike," said spokesman for the hospital Michael Leary.  "We do look forward to meeting with them again with the hopes that we can strive toward reaching a final agreement." 

A spokesman for the nurses union said he is also hopeful for a compromise. They will have to give Berkshire Medical 10 days notice before going out on strike.

In June, more than 200 nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield held a one-day strike and were locked-out for two more. Donna Stern, a nurse at the hospital said they plan to picket outside of Baystate's headquarters in Springfield.

"We have decided to bring the message to Springfield and start educating the people in the Springfield area what kind of choices Baystate makes and how they choose to treat their employees," said Stern.

The Baystate Franklin nurses have been without a contract since the start of the year. In the past, Baystate has said it looks forward to negotiating a fair contract.