Berkshire Medical Center Nurses Return After Strike

Oct 9, 2017

Union nurses at Berkshire Medical Center returned to work Sunday, following a temporary strike over staffing levels.

Some 800 nurses at the Pittsfield, Massachusetts hospital, who are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, walked off the job for a one-day strike Tuesday.

They were locked out an additional four days, because replacement workers' contracts required five days of work.

Striking nurses demand that Berkshire Medical Center negotiate with union officials, who have asked management to increase the number of nurses working per shift.

Mark Brodeur, a nurse there, said the offer to form an employee committee that would have a voice in staffing issues is insufficient.

“We ultimately need the hospital to negotiate with us in good faith, for them to be willing to discuss staffing and our workload in negotiations, and not push it off onto a committee," Brodeur said.

Messages left for a Berkshire Medical Center spokesman were not returned Monday.

Nurses rejected a contract offered to them in May, which would have formed that committee.

A date to resume negotiations has not been set.