Berkshire Medical Center Nurses Scheduled To Strike Tuesday

Oct 2, 2017

Officials at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield say they're ready for a planned 24-hour strike by 800 unionized nurses starting Tuesday morning.

Hospital spokesman Michael Leary said more than 240 temporary nurses will be brought in to care for patients.

"They, of course, have gone through the same rigorous licensing procedure that all of the registered nurses in the state have to go through," Leary said. "Many of them come all across the country and they have worked at a number of academic medical centers providing care."

The strike is scheduled to end at 7 a.m. Wednesday. But Leary said the replacement nurses will remain on the job through Saturday. That's because they're guaranteed a minimum number of work days.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association and Berkshire Medical Center have been without a contract agreement for more than a year.

The union says one of the major sticking points is a need for more nurses.