Registered nurses at Berkshire Medical Center say they will launch a second strike after demands for contract changes were not met. The nurses say they want improved staffing to ensure patient safety. The Berkshire Eagle’s Samantha Wood says the nurses mounted a similar one-day strike in October that resulted in a lockout by hospital management.
"The ongoing sticking point seems to be the staffing issue, where nurses are asking for certain levels of staffing. They say this is a patient safety issue.," Wood says. "The hospital says they don't want to be held to those kinds of rules and it's actually bad management to go with the staffing schedule like that."
The second strike is scheduled for February 27th. The hospital says it could cost upwards of $4 million and force it to reallocate resources. The Massachusetts Nurses Association and management have been at a contract impasse for 17 months.