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GREENFIELD — The security union at Baystate Franklin Medical Center filed an unfair labor charge with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday over the firing of two officers and for not receiving their annual merit raises.
This makes four unfair labor charges filed since the union, representing 20 officers, formed in February.
The security union joins the nurses union in its filing of unfair labor charges against the Greenfield hospital. Three of its officers have been let go by the hospital since the union was formed, with one of them receiving severance pay.
The security union is still negotiating its first contract since forming the collective.
The nurses have also been in negotiations with the hospital, since November, negotiating their expired contract. The local Massachusetts Nurses Association chapter demands to Baystate Franklin include increased security officers, particularly at night. The nurses say it is a matter of safety for the hospital, its employees and its patients.
“What’s happening is they know we’re uniting with the nurses,” said Law Enforcement Officers Security Unions Organizing Director Steve Maritas. “I guess they are retaliating against the security officers. All of a sudden they’re coming up with excuse after excuse to try to terminate (officers).”
Maritas added, “Obviously there’s a major problem going on at the hospital since everyone is seeking union.”
Baystate Franklin Medical Center said anyone who wants to complete a form and allege an unfair labor practice can by going to the labor board’s website.
“Unfair labor practice charges are often used as a tactic to get media attention,” spokesman Benjamin Craft said. “The vast majority of such charges filed by the MNA against BFMC in recent years, for example, have been dismissed or withdrawn.”
President Cindy Russo said the hospital is going through its proper investigation. “I respect the confidentiality of my employees unlike the union that has not shared that same respect,” Russo said.
The most recent labor charges were filed in regards to the firing of one of the officers. “This is what’s going on there. We want our story told. That’s the bottom line,” Maritas said. “We need to protect ourselves and if that means letting out the truth, then let it out.”