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Nurses to strike at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield

Unionized nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield plan to hold a 24-hour strike Friday to protest what they say are demands for unreasonable concessions in contract negotiations that broke down without a settlement Wednesday night.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association, which represents 209 nurses in the Western Massachusetts community hospital, said proposals from its Springfield-based parent, Baystate Health System, would increase overtime at the Greenfield hospital and discipline nurses for using legitimate sick time, forcing them to care for patients while ill.

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Baystate Health said nurses union representatives were unwilling to negotiate seriously on the hospital’s proposals and declined to commit to dates for further bargaining later this month. The hospital said it will proceed with its strike contingency plans, bringing in replacement nurses to care for patients from 7 a.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday.

The sticking point in the contract talks is a proposal to pay time-and-a-half only after a nurse has worked 40 hours in a week, rather than on a per-shift basis as is called for in the current contract, according­ to the hospital.

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