Berkshire Medical Center has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
A spokesperson for Berkshire Medical Center told WAMC Thursday the Massachusetts Nurses Association has been negotiating its contract in “bad faith” to promote special interests – a violation of federal labor law. It filed the complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.
MNA and the hospital have been negotiating since September 2016 to reach a contract. Berkshire Medical Center made what it called its “best and final offer” in May.
BMC says the MNA uses strike-oriented bargaining strategies to further its political goals. The hospital says after almost 30 meetings, the union hasn’t materially changed its position.
“We want the MNA to engage in constructive talks with us, starting with serious consideration of the generous offer before them, so we can settle this labor contract. The MNA’s leaders appear more focused on using negotiations at Berkshire and at other Massachusetts hospitals as a platform to promote its own interests,” Arthur Milano, Berkshire Health Systems’ Vice President for Human Resources, said.
The nurses’ union is calling for safe patient limits and denies wrongdoing.
“This charge is completely unfounded. Unlike the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, which is clearly providing Berkshire Medical Center with industry talking points, MNA nurses approach bargaining as a local issue. BMC nurses have proposed local solutions to patient care concerns they are experiencing at their hospital," MNA's Joe Markman said. "BMC should return to the table, bargain in good faith and address the very real concerns of nurses and the community.”