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Berkshire Health Systems Has 'Legitimate Concerns' With Ballot Question

Berkshire Medical Center officials estimate that it'll cost the hospital $22.8 million if Question 1 is passed. Voters will be asked to vote yes or no on a question as to whether or not legally mandate specific ratios of registered nurses to patients. Berkshire Health Systems is opposing the question, fearing the costs will prove to be detrimental to service.

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Advocates for Ballot Measure on Nurse Staffing Levels Rally in Pittsfield

Question 1 was placed on the ballot by petition and spells out the maximum number of patients under a nurse's charge in acute care facilities. Voting yes will institute the changes that will have to be implemented by Jan. 1, 2019, or at the expiration of any current nursing contract. Voting no will leave everything as it is.

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BMC Nurses Schedule Second Strike

The nurses at Berkshire Medical Center plan to go on strike for the second time. The local chapter of the Massachusetts Nurses Association voted to hold a one-day strike on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Some 800 nurses have been in difficult contract negotiations with the hospital for about a year and a half after the last agreement expired in September of 2016.

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