FORUM HEALTH Company, nurses to meet for bargaining outside area

YOUNGSTOWN -- Forum Health and representatives of its striking nurses union will set up their bargaining table in Cleveland on Monday, the first time since the walkout began May 1 that the two sides have met outside the area.
Bonnie Lambert, president of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association, said a federal mediator directed the two sides to meet out of town and will require that the negotiating teams stay there until they reach either an agreement or an impasse.
The mediator had scheduled a meeting for Thursday, and Forum sent out a news release saying the company was "extremely disappointed" that the YGDNA had canceled the session.
Lambert said the postponement was necessary because the union, a unit of the Ohio Nurses Association, had to bring in a new attorney and needs time to brief him on the issues.
ONA staff attorney Gene Shepherd will continue to work with the YGDNA but has been advised by his doctors to avoid travel for the next two weeks for health reasons, she explained. They asked for one extra day to brief Atty. Bob Sauder, a business and labor attorney based in Columbus, but the mediator decided to delay the meeting until Monday instead.
Members of the YGDNA, which represents 771 registered nurses, are picketing at Northside Medical Center, Tod Children's Hospital and Beeghly Medical Center.

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