RNs - Massachusetts

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Decision to close Taunton State Hospital is ill-conceived

Eileen J. Marum, RN, Marion, SouthCoastToday.com, April 3, 2012

There's been a lot of commentary from all sides concerning the planned closing of Taunton State Hospital, a revered institution serving the needs of the emotionally disturbed for 150 years.

My first encounter with TSH came in the mid-1960s. At the time, I was an enthusiastic 19-year-old student nurse at Truesdale Hospital School of Nursing in Fall River, preparing for a three-month psychiatric rotation.

More than 200 people protested planned closing of Taunton State Hospital

Mental health facility in Taunton slated to close by end of year.
Corey Kane, Patriot Ledger State House Bureau, March 22, 2012

Boston - More than 200 people, many of them chanting “Stop and study,” gathered in a State House auditorium Thursday to demand that Governor Deval Patrick’s administration delay the closing of Taunton State Hospital until a thorough study is made of the state’s mental health system.

“We should stop any further cuts including the cuts to Taunton State Hospital,” an angry Senator Marc Pacheco of Taunton told a mix of union members and patient families.

A number of state lawmakers and the Taunton and Worcester mayors also attended.

Rally held to prevent Taunton State Hospital closure

Marc Larocque, Westport Herald News, March 22, 2012

Boston - A massive crowd packed into Gardner Auditorium at the Statehouse in Boston Thursday morning to protest the Patrick Administration’s plans to close Taunton State Hospital by the end of the year.

The rally, which was organized by state Senator Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, and House Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad, D-Somerset, featured speeches from legislators on both sides of the aisle, mental health advocates, nurses, workers, labor leaders and former patients of Taunton State.

Lawmakers vow to fight Massachusetts hospital closing

Associated Press, March 22, 2012

Lawmakers opposed to a plan to close a state psychiatric hospital and shift patients and workers to other facilities said Thursday they would file legislation to block the shutdown and require an independent study of the entire Massachusetts mental health system.

The promise came as a large crowd, including unionized employees and families of patients at Taunton State Hospital, rallied at the Statehouse to save the 169-bed institution, the only one of its kind in southeastern Massachusetts.

Taunton Hospital Closure Plans Stirring Fierce Battle on Beacon Hill

Kyle Cheney, State House News Service, March 22, 2012

 Boston - A member of Senate President Therese Murray’s leadership team predicted Thursday that the Senate would support blocking a Patrick administration move to shutter Taunton State Hospital, a mental health facility that serves the state’s southeast region. 

Senator Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester), assistant majority leader, told a capitol auditorium packed with union members opposed to the closure that she believes “the Senate as a whole” would demand a comprehensive study before any changes are made the mental health system. ... Taunton

Save the Date: Rally to Protect Mental Health Services - March 22nd

Rally to Protect Mental Health Services!
Thursday March 22nd, 10:00 AM
Gardner Auditorium, State House

We have a crisis in Massachusetts! Mental Health Services are inadequate and those seeking treatment are often unable to access it. Our emergency departments are overcrowded with psychiatric patients who can’t access needed inpatient and community services. ... Save

Statement by UMMMC RNs Regarding the Announcement of the Retirement of CEO John O’Brien

Massachusetts Nurses Association, March 14, 2012

 Worcester - The nurses have serious concerns about the current state of affairs at UMass Memorial Medical Center and what it means for the legacy of John O’Brien. In recent months, the system was embarrassed by news of a disgraceful scandal involving a scheme to defraud insurance companies and mislead the public, which has resulted in nearly a million dollars in fines and untold millions of dollars in payments to insurers. To pay for this scandal, Mr. O’Brien has engaged in deep cuts to hospital staffing levels, and is seeking to sell off our much needed home health and hospice services, all of which will degrade the care our patients receive. ... Statement

Nurses and supporters protest Baystate's 'hospital of the future' as contract talks stall

Conor Berry, Springfield Republican, February 28, 2012 Springfield – In just a few days, Baystate Health will be wheeling its first patient through the doors of the so-called "hospital of the future," a nearly $300 million, 640,000-square-foot expansion of Springfield's Baystate Medical Center. But on Tuesday, a group of nurses were more concerned about holding onto their jobs for the future, claiming that Baystate Health System officials made "unreasonable concessionary demands" and engaged in union-busting tactics during contract negotiations that broke down earlier this month. "They're rabidly anti-union," Joseph A. Twarog ... Nurses

Nurses protest at Baystate unveiling - video

Say hospital is trying to take away bargaining. Jackie Brousseau, WWLP, February 28, 2012 Springfield - Nurses picketed outside the dedication of the new wings of Baystate Medical Center Tuesday. 

Nurses from the Baystate Franklin Medical Center and the Baystate Visiting Nurses Association protested on Springfield Street as the dedication of Baystate's new addition was going on. 

The protestors say that the hospital is trying to negotiate outside of the union. “It comes down to collective bargaining rights,” said Joseph Twarog, Associate Director of the Division of Labor Action. ... Nurses

Nurses File Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against Baystate

Charge Baystate Acted Illegally in Ending Negotiations. Massachusetts Nurses Association, February 24, 2012 Springfield - The Massachusetts Nurses Association bargaining unit at Baystate Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board. The nurses allege that Baystate illegally terminated negotiations and then implemented their last offer while the MNA was still in the process of contract negotiations. The nurses have been bargaining with the Baystate VNAH for the last14 months. While the nurses compromised on several important issues, Baystate has refused to cooperate ... Nurses

Women's Labor History: A First Look

We will explore women’s organizing and membership in unions from 1900 to the present, looking at what others have found and doing some “detective work” ourselves. Women’s earlier labor struggles will give us a basis for analyzing the struggles nurses and other groups of women are facing at work now. Topics will include: The Rising of the 20,000, the Triangle (Shirt) Waist Factory Fire; the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and “social unionism”; the Woolworth’s sit-down strike; the National Labor Relations Act and Taft-Hartley; the post war period and beyond. ... Women

Baystate VNA nurses need your support!

Baystate’s New Facility on Chestnut Street, Springfield
9:30 AM, February 28, 2012

The nurses at the Baystate Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice (BVNAH) in Springfield have been negotiating for a successor agreement for over one year. Baystate seeks to basically take away collective bargaining rights on a number of issues – including health insurance and attendance policy (they just recently backed down on a similar stance on wages). However, Management is now threatening to declare impasse at BVNAH, but has not done so to date. ... Baystate

Baystate Nurses to Picket at Baystate’s Hospital of the Future Dedication

Hundreds Expected to Support RNs. Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United, February 17, 2012 Springfield - The Registered Nurses of two Baystate Health units will be picketing at Baystate’s dedication of their new hospital. Members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association's bargaining units at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield and the Baystate Visiting Nurses Association will be protesting Baystate’s union busting tactics and the unreasonable concessionary demands they have put forward during current negotiations. ... Baystate

Massachusetts Residents Petition To Save Taunton State Hospital

Protect Access to Quality Mental Health Services in Southeastern Massachusetts. Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United, February 8, 2012 Please download and print copies of the petition to circulate and gather signatures from your colleagues, friends and family. Completed petitions can be returned to the Massachusetts Nurses Association, 340 Turnpike Street, Canton, MA 02021 or, alternatively, contact your community organizer to arrange pick-up of the petitions. ... Massachusetts

UMass Memorial cutbacks draw fire

Hospital seeks to trim 150 jobs, sell two divisions.
Jerry Kronenberg, Boston Herald, February 2, 2012

Unionized nurses are slamming UMass Memorial Health Care system’s plan to save $50 million a year by cutting 150 jobs and spinning off two units that employ another 750 people.

“We all work very hard with the amount of patients we’re caring for now,” said nurse Lynne Starbard, co-chair of the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s union local.

“If they cut any more caregivers, I don’t know how bedside nurses are going to be able to continue giving patients the best quality care,” she said.

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