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Forum Health, YGDNA disagree about circumstances of talks



Published: Tue, July 17, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN

The two sides didn't meet face-to-face Monday.

BOARDMAN -- An eight-hour negotiating session between Forum Health and the striking Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association broke off Monday evening at the Holiday Inn with no new talks scheduled.

Evonne Woloshyn, Forum's senior vice president for marketing and community relations, said Forum raised its offer from a 15 percent increase to an 18 percent increase in wages, benefits and pensions over a proposed three-year contract. She said Forum had hoped to negotiate around the clock, but the nurses union's bargaining team walked out.

"They don't tell the whole truth," Bonnie Lambert, YGDNA president, said of Forum's management.

Lambert said federal mediator Jennifer Flecher shuttled back and forth between the two sides in separate rooms, and the two sides never met face-to-face Monday. She denied that the union's negotiating team walked away from the talks.

All or nothing: Forum presented a package on an all-or-none basis, saying the individual parts were not negotiable, Lambert said.

Forum's package still retains mandatory overtime for 30 months and gives nine union members who have crossed the picket lines to work seniority credit for work performed during the strike, and the strikers lose seniority credit for strike time -- both of these conditions being unacceptable to the union, she said. "We are not going to give up our seniority rights," she said.

Some 762 nurses have been on strike against Forum Health Northside Medical Center, Tod Children's Hospital and Beeghly Medical Park since May 1, and Forum has been employing about 250 strike replacement nurses.




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