Contract negotiations resuming at Berkshire Medical Center

November 28, 2017 01:22 PM

Almost two months after a strike and a lockout, nurses at Berkshire County's largest hospital still don't have a contract. Another negotiation was scheduled for Tuesday between the nurses and Berkshire Medical Center.

Even after that one-day strike nearly two months ago, neither side said it would be easy to get an agreement.

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The bargaining unit for the nurses and the administration at Berkshire Medical Center will sit down again for the second time in two weeks.

Back on October 3, the nurses staged a 24-hour strike in both Pittsfield and North Adams. They tried to head back to work the next morning, but were greeted with a lockout. That's part of the deal that the hospital had to make with "replacement nurses." That lasted for four days.

Finally, on that Sunday morning, October 8, the regular nurses were allowed back in, but without any deal in place between the hospital and the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

The major sticking point continues to be staffing levels. The union says it's not safe for the patients but hospital officials say they've followed the union guidelines and have been recognized nationally for patient care.

The two sides met on November 14. Talks have been described as "difficult," but perhaps in the spirit of the season, an olive branch can be extended


WNYT Staff

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