200 Nurses to Strike

In Greenfield, about 200 nurses at the hospital have voted to go on strike. “We need the public to come out to support us on February 27 at 7 p.m. outside the main entrance to the hospital,” Donna Stern told the Valley Post in a telephone interview in February 20. “I have been a nurse at the (Greenfield) hospital since 2005. My mom was a dietary aide at the hospital,” she said.

Throughout history, when workers have gone on strike they have almost always won a middle class life. When they failed to go on strike, they have almost always lived in poverty. Vacations, weekends, the minimum wage, and the ban on child labor all exist because workers went on strike. When a handful of people are billionaires and almost everyone else lives in poverty, democracy dies.

The CEO of the corporation that owns the Greenfield hospital made about $1.5 million in 2015, the most recent year for which data was available. The hospital is at 164 High Street.

More information about the Greenfield nurses’ strike is at:

www.valleypost.org/node/1373

In other news from the Valley, about 50 teachers at a charter school in South Hadley, Massachusetts formed a union earlier this month. South Hadley borders Holyoke and Amherst. The workers have a web site at www.uaw2322.org.

In other news from the Valley, on February 26, there will be rallies for jobs with justice at noon at the Cape Cod Lounge in the Student Union building at UMass Amherst; at 3:30 p.m. inside or outside (depending on weather) the Main Campus Building at Greenfield Community College; and at 5 p.m. outside 95 Liberty Street in Springfield. More information is at www.MassAFLCIO.org.

In other news from the Valley, immigrant rights activists in Northampton wrote on February 16, “One of our leaders, Ottoniel, was in a car accident in Springfield yesterday. Police arrested him on the spot for not having a driver's license. Organizers went to bail him out and a police officer and bail clerk said that Ottoniel wouldn't be released until ICE (federal government) approval -- a clear indication of Springfield police and ICE collaboration. Springfield city councilor Adam Gomez exerted pressure for Ottoniel's release. At around 11 p.m., Ottoniel was released. Ottoniel appeared in court this morning. About 15 members from Sanctuary in the Streets accompanied Ottoniel to court because ICE has been detaining people in court. At around 10:30 a.m., Ottoniel was released and the judge scheduled a new date.” The activists have a web site at www.pvWorkersCenter.org.

In other news from the Valley, as of this month, when Linda Dorcena Forry left her seat in the Massachusetts senate, the 40 member body is 100 percent white. About 20 percent of the people in Massachusetts are people of color.

In other news from the Valley, in Keene public transportation may soon improve. Cars are a major cause of climate change, which the world’s leading scientists say is an urgent threat to earth’s ability to support human life. JB Mack works at a government agency in Keene, the Southwest Region Planning Commission. In a telephone interview on February 15, Mack told the Valley Post, “This month we began a study about how to build a heated, indoor waiting area for passengers on local and intercity busses. Keene doesn’t have that now.” He said the new bus station may have indoor, secured bicycle parking. “We are looking at what it would take to increase the frequency of buses within Keene and from Keene to cities like Boston and Brattleboro. We have heard from a lot of people that they want better bus connections from Keene to Amtrak trains in Brattleboro.”

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from www.MassNurses.org:

2/23/2018

GREENFIELD, Mass. – The registered nurses of Baystate Franklin Medical Center, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, agreed on Friday to withdraw their one-day strike notice after Baystate Health requested the withdrawal in order to return to the bargaining table on February 26. Nurses agreed to bargain while hoping for progress toward a contract that must include improvements to RN staffing and patient care, along with decent health insurance.

A 24-hour nurse strike had been scheduled to start at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Baystate had threatened to lock out BFMC nurses from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 through 7 p.m. Friday, March 2. BFMC nurses retain the right to re-issue a new 10-day notice of a new one-day strike if necessary.

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