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Rep. Neal: Management-Union Divide Played Role In North Adams Hospital Closure

Lucas Willard

It’s been more than a year since North Adams Regional Hospital closed. Pittsfield-based Berkshire Health Systems now operates a satellite emergency facility there. Congressman Richard Neal says a divide between the former hospital’s leadership and unions played a role in the closure.Northern Berkshire Healthcare closed the North Adams hospital in March 2014 citing worsening finances. The parent company would file Chapter 7 bankruptcy days later. On WAMC’s Congressional Corner, Neal said hospital leadership and unions had been polarized since at least 2012. 

“When I was a candidate and going to the Berkshires for the first time I recall when I met with the union and I met with management it was done separately,” Neal said. “For somebody’s who’s been around for the period of time that I have that immediately sent my antenna up.”  

With SEIU 1199 representing some 200 former NBH workers, the Massachusetts Nurses Association and a group of community members have consistently called for the return of a full-service hospital in northern Berkshire County.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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