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Latest News - August 2013

August 8, 2013
Northside nurses reject new contract

Members of The Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association have voted to reject a new contract with the operator of Northside Hospital.

After voting throughout Tuesday, the union announced that members have turned down what ValleyCare Health System of Ohio characterized as it's final offer.

In a letter sent to the members of the union before the vote, hospital management said it reserves the right to implement the terms of the offer if the union turns their offer down, claiming the two parties have reached an impasse.

The nurses have been without a contract for over a year.

A statement from the union says that by voting against the contract offer, union members also granted their leaders the authority to issue a strike notice, if such action is deemed necessary.

One sticking point of the contract, according to union president, Eric Williams, is staffing levels. The union claims the way Northside Medical Center is proposing to staff it's nurses could jeopardize patient care.

Williams said the hospital has considered what he calls "nurse rationing," where nurses would be sent home if there are fewer patients than expected. The nurses could then be called back in if new patients are suddenly admitted.

ValleyCare Health System of Ohio issued a statement attributed to Trish Hrina, Vice President of Marketing:

"Our registered nurses are valued colleagues who play a critical role in our work to provide patients with quality, personalized care. While it is unfortunate not to have resolution with the O.N.A., we are committed to continuing in a productive, mutually beneficial and respectful relationship with all of our employees."

There is no word about further negotiations.



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