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SOURCE Ohio Nurses Association
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nurses at Northside Medical Center today thanked U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown for his support of the collective bargaining process and his offer to assist with ongoing contract talks.
In a letter to Northside CEO Kirk Ray, Sen. Brown said a negotiated agreement between the hospital and its nurses "will benefit the workers, their families, the hospital management, and the entire Youngstown community."
Sen. Brown urged Northside managers and the ValleyCare system, which was taken over by Nashville-based Community Health Systems (CHS) in 2010, to work toward a fair contract and resolve differences with the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association at the bargaining table, noting that "compromise is what the collective bargaining process is all about."
Eric Williams, president of YGDNA, called on Northside administrators and CHS to make a new commitment to the bargaining process. With the two sides scheduled to meet for talks on Wednesday, Williams said CHS should commit to staying at the table as long as it takes to reach agreement.
"While CHS officials claim to be willing to bargain," Williams said, "their actions speak louder than words. So far, they have committed to just four hours of negotiations on Wednesday."
The Ohio Nurses Association, the statewide union that is the official bargaining agent for the Northside unit, also said CHS must allow Northside managers to stay engaged in contract talks. "The on-again, off-again pattern that CHS has imposed on our bargaining is not the approach of an organization that wants to reach an agreement that is good for our patients," said Kelly Trautner, Deputy Executive Officer of ONA, which is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. "Northside's nurses are committed to the bargaining process, and to reaching an agreement that will preserve the award-winning patient care that this hospital has provided the Youngstown community."
YGDNA represents more than 400 nurses who work at Northside. They have been working under a contract that expired in July 2012.
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