Labor Board Files Complaint Against Baystate Franklin

The National Labor Relations Board has filed two complaints against Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts. This is the latest step in a contentious, year-and-half long contract negotiation between the hospital and the Massachusetts Nurses Association. 

The first charge stems from a main sticking-point in negotiations: Overtime. The nurses’ union claims Baystate is trying to take away overtime benefits for hours worked beyond a normal shift. Donna Stern is a nurse and negotiator for the nurses. 

“They want to make this an industry standard when it is not an industry standard. They’re the only hospital in Western Massachusetts that doesn’t pay their employees overtime beyond their regular shift.” 

The National Labor Relations Board says Baystate has not provided the nurses’ union with evidence that many other hospitals handle overtime this way. The hosptial says the continuous requests for information are nothing more than stall tactics. Chuck Gijanto is the president of Baystate Franklin. 
 
“We continue to believe that we have a very good offer on the table We continue to get a large number of information requests from the nurses and it seems to be sort of a typical tactic to slow down and delay the process. We just want to focus on the issues at hand, resolve and get moving forward.” 
 
The other complaint alleges Baystate directed staff not to discuss union activities in areas such as nurses’ stations and cafeterias. A hearing is scheduled for this fall before a federal labor judge. For New England Public Radio, I’m Adam Frenier.