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Pittsfield hospital’s nurses authorize another 1-day strike

January 17, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Nurses at a western Massachusetts hospital have authorized a second one-day strike.

Unionized nurses at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield voted 369-80 Tuesday to authorize their bargaining unit to set a strike date. The vote does not mean a strike will take place, just that union officials can schedule one if they deem it necessary.

The nurses held a one-day walkout in October to protest stalled contract talks with hospital management. That was followed by a four-day lockout because the hospital had to hire almost 250 replacement nurses on a five-day contract.

The nurses allege the hospital is understaffed, which affects patient safety.

A hospital official tells The Berkshire Eagle she was “surprised and disappointed” by the strike vote because hospital management felt contract negotiations were going well.

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Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com

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