Letter: Stand by BMC nurses is worthy of support
Regarding the labor dispute between BMC and the registered nurses who are represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), I keep hearing and reading that "the MNA authorized a strike." Although the nurses are represented by the MNA it was the 800-plus BMC nurses who authorized a strike via ballot.
BMC management has issued statements that it believes the MNA has a statewide agenda. Of course it does, that is what unions do, not only statewide but nationally as well.
I was a proud union member for 32 years (International Association of Firefighters local 2647). My union fought for firefighter health and safety by funding research that lead to better protective gear and breathing apparatus for example. BMC nurses believe there are staffing level issues that affect patient safety. I applaud them for taking this stand.
The nurses do not want a strike and I know that the non-union employees there don't want a strike. From the articles I've read and the nurses I've spoken with, one way to alleviate at least part of the issue would be for the nurses who are in charge of a unit during their shift not to be given patient assignments. This would allow them to perform the duties and responsibilities of being the RN in charge and also still be able to assist the other nurses on the unit when necessary. I find this very reasonable.
The registered nurses at BMC are professional, skilled and caring individuals who as a group vote for what they believe. They have my support.
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