Greenfield Nurses to Rally

The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital are asking the public to support them by attending a rally outside the hospital on April 27 from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. The hospital is at 164 High Street. “Nurses will join with the community on April 27 to show (hospital owner) Baystate we are united for safe patient care,” said Donna Stern, a nurse at the hospital. “Nurses are being pushed beyond our ability to safely care for our patients. If we have too many patients at one time, how can we provide high-quality care? If we work 12 hours without a break or are forced into illegal, mandatory overtime, how can we be sure our patients are getting the best possible care?”

Jillian Sicard is another nurse at the hospital. “The hospital is failing to provide core nurse staffing from the very start when it issues schedules,” she said. “The hospital is scrambling to try and fill many open shifts, or is leaving them unfilled, to the detriment of patient care. Baystate forces unsafe patient assignments and unsafe working conditions on nurses. We cannot provide the high quality care our patients deserve when we have too many patients at one time, are fatigued and undernourished because we must work through our breaks, and are required to stay beyond our scheduled shifts in violation of state law.”

The nurses have a union, which has a web site at

The workers want fewer patients per nurse, and better wages and benefits.

The below photo was taken during a 2012 strike by the nurses at the Greenfield hospital. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photo by

On average, workers in the USA make 27 percent higher wages when they join a union. That's according to Most union contracts say workers can only be fired for "just cause." Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason.

Millions of workers in the USA are union members, including all the workers at UPS, UMass Amherst, the Brattleboro Retreat (900 or so workers), and the food co-ops in Northampton, Greenfield, and Brattleboro. The Brattleboro co-op has about 160 employees.

The middle class in the USA is disappearing. There are more rich people and more poor people than there have been since the 1920s. This allows billionaires more influence over politicians. Unions are one way to expand the middle class and increase democracy.

In other news from the Valley, on April 22 in Amherst, more than 1,000 people participated in the March for Science. The march was in response to President Trump's claims that climate change is not a problem, among other issues. The organizers of the Amherst march have a web page at:

On April 29, people will ride bicycles from Northampton and Holyoke to a march in Springfield to protest climate change. The public is invited to join them. Details are at:

Eleven residents of Northampton and Amherst are riding bicycles from Northampton to Washington, DC for a march to protest climate change. More information on the Springfield and Washington marches – and a related march in Keene -- is at:

The people who are riding their bikes to Washington can be reached via Tom Crowe by phone at (207) 664-9206 or at


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