When MNA nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center went on a one-day strike on Friday, Oct. 5, NYSNA was there.
This was the first-ever strike for the nurses at the hospital who are protesting management’s forced overtime policy, refusal to pay overtime per shift, and a dangerous sick day policy - nurses there are disciplined when they call in sick four times per year.
The 209 unionized nurses are up against a “Romney-like corporate machine,” says one supporter when referring to the hospital, but the Greenfield community is behind them.
Families, teens and the elderly joined the picket line and encouraged passing drivers to honk their support. One resident living across the street from the hospital gave up their lawn for the nurses to use as a strike headquarters.
NYSNA was surprised to learn how far news of the strike had spread when even Massachusetts Turnpike workers voiced their support. “Oh, we know all about it! Good for you. It's a real mess up there,” said one gas station worker.
The nurses, who walked out of the hospital starting at 5:00 AM Friday, kept the picket line alive until 7:00 AM on Saturday. “We're nurses, we know how to cover shifts!” said one picketer dressed tongue-in-cheek in a gigantic nurses hat.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.