On Springfield

Occupying Baystate

Well, this can’t be the kind of coverage they were hoping for.

As Baystate Medical Center prepares to open its new $300 million expansion project, early coverage focuses not on ribbon cuttings and speeches, but rather on a picket this morning by nurses who are frustrated in their contract negotiations with hospital officials. Here, the Republican’s Conor Berry reports on nurses and their supporters holding “Occupy Baystate” signs and chastising the hospital for declaring negotiations to be at an impasse earlier this month. According to their union, Baystate wanted the nurses to give up its right to collectively bargain over healthcare coverage, which they refused to do.

Among those showing their support for the nurses: Bill Shein, who’s running for the newly reconfigured 1st Congressional district seat. (He’ll face U.S. Rep. Richie Neal, currently the 2nd District incumbent, and former state senator Andrea Nuciforo in the September Democratic primary.) According to a campaign press release, Shein was planning to attend “to call for a fair contract for 268 nurses in Springfield and Greenfield that does not undermine their collective bargaining rights.”

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