Gains made by nurses at Baystate Franklin

  • The Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield. Recorder file photo

For the Gazette
Published: 5/28/2018 10:34:43 PM

GREENFIELD — The contract that the two bargaining units — for the unionized nurses and Baystate Franklin Medical Center — came to terms last Wednesday evening meets some middle ground on the core issues the nurses campaigned on, including staffing, health insurance and wages.

While the details of the contract were not immediately disclosed by Baystate Health administration, representatives from the Massachusetts Nurses Association did articulate what it saw as major takeaways from a contract.

Passage of the contract by the nurses union is expected in a ratification vote on Tuesday, since the new pact got unanimous support from the bargaining unit.

The contract, if finalized, will run from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2021.

Here’s some of the highlights of the new contract, as described by the nurses union:

Staffing

Improvements to assignments of charge and admission nurses, including in the mental health unit, medical/surgical telemetry unit and in the operating room.

Current staffing grids for registered nurses will not be diminished.

Health insurance

Nurses will regain their health insurance plan, which had been taken away before negotiations began.

Wages

2.5 percent across-the-board increase in the first full pay period after ratification.

Further raises: 1.4 percent as of Jan. 1, 2019; 1.5 percent of Jan. 1, 2020; 2 percent as of Jan. 1, 2021.

Ratification bonus giving nurses a 50 cents per hour for every hour paid in 2017 and through the first full pay period after ratification.

Other items

Removal of the hospital’s proposed cut that would have reduced earned time and holidays for nurses.

Improved tuition reimbursement and language to help nurses stay in school.

Workplace violence prevention

If the “Patient Safety Act,” which regards staffing ratios, was to pass — as it is expected to be on the ballot in November’s election — it will be effective as of July 1, 2020.

Redefining “emergency” language, as a response to how the hospital interpreted the current wording during the two lockouts.




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