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Hospital, Nurses Union Reach Settlement


A lengthy contract dispute between nurses and management at a western Massachusetts hospital has been settled, and a threatened strike averted.

Baystate Franklin Medical Center and the Massachusetts Nurses Association announced a tentative agreement Friday on a new five year contract. Negotiations had dragged on for two years, and nurses had called a one day strike for Monday.  Now, hospital president Chuck Gijanto said all acrimony will be in the past.

"We together, we are united, we are going to recommit to take care of all the patients in our community."

The 200 nurses will receive pay raises and bonuses and the hospital will pay a larger share for their family health insurance.  The hospital dropped a demand to calculate overtime on a weekly rather than a daily basis in  return for a one-hour grace period before overtime would apply.  Linda Judd, a long time nurse at the hospital said she was thrilled.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.