Baystate Franklin, nurses OK tentative agreement

GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Baystate Franklin Medical Center and nurses union officials have reached a tentative contract agreement that ends a 29-month standoff.

State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg and state Rep. Stephen Kulik orchestrated negotiations that lasted about eight hours Thursday night and Friday afternoon. Nurses have called off a 24-hour strike scheduled for Monday.

The agreement must be ratified by members of the union.

The hospital will pay a nurse standard pay for up to one hour after the end of a scheduled shift. A nurse who works beyond the one-hour grace period will automatically earn time-and-a-half pay for overtime hours.

The five-year contract will cover the past two years and extend through Dec. 31, 2016. It includes a compromise on overtime pay, the issue that had kept nurses and hospital leaders from settling a new contract.

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