Berkshire Medical Center Receives Strike Notice

Berkshire Medical Center on Friday received a strike notice from its nursing union, which set Tuesday, October 3 as the date for its one-day walkout. The term “one-day” is a misnomer as hospitals targeted by the nursing union must hire replacement nurses for a minimum of four additional days.  Berkshire leadership has pledged that they will ensure  strong and supportive nurse staffing during the strike to maintain their record of excellent patient care evidenced by impressive and transparent outcome measures. In a press release, the hospital noted that it has offered the union a generous pay raise package, steps to empower rank-and-file nurses, a formal staffing committee, and staffing plans that meet those outlined by the American Nurses Association, the national professional nursing organization. A sticking point in the negotiations appears to be a plan to equalize the health insurance premiums that union nurses pay so that they are the same as other nurses and employees at Berkshire. Berkshire MC and its nurses have another bargaining session set for Wednesday, September 27.