FORUM HEALTH STRIKE Nurses seek support from commissioners

Commissioners haven't decided whether to take a side in the labor dispute.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Striking nurses from Forum Health want Mahoning County commissioners to show their colors.
Representatives of the Ohio Nurses Association asked commissioners Thursday to support the nurses with a letter and by wearing blue and white ribbons on their lapels.
Spokeswoman Jean Troutman-Poole said the nurses plan to meet with local government officials and hope to address area church congregations to rally support.
They're seeking letters from local government officials, hoping it will pressure Forum Health officials into negotiating an end to the work stoppage.
Ongoing strike: The Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association, representing 771 registered nurses, has been on strike at Northside Medical Center, Tod Children's Hospital and Beeghly Medical Center since May 1. The YGDNA is a unit of the ONA.
Evonne Woloshyn, Forum Health spokeswoman, said union and management negotiators met for 10 hours Thursday but made no progress. Bargaining continues today in a Cleveland suburb. Talks to end the dispute have been ongoing since Monday.
Commissioner Vicki Allen Sherlock said commissioners have not decided whether to send a letter.
A resident attending the meeting, Alan Kretzer, urged commissioners to "think twice" before taking sides in a labor dispute.
"As individuals you can support whoever you want, but as elected commissioners I don't know that taking sides would be appropriate," Kretzer said.
Other decisions: Commissioners also voted to lease two photocopy machines through the state purchasing program for the county recorder's office. One will be for use by the public and the other for use by employees of local title search companies.
The public machine will be coin-operated so people can make copies of noncertified documents by themselves for 25 cents per page. Otherwise, office staff will make the copies and charge $1 per page as established by Ohio law.
Title companies will be issued debit cards for making their copies.
Title companies have kept their own copier in the basement of the recorder's office for years. They say using their own machine, which costs about 13 cents per page, provides them a lower operating cost.
Gerberry ordered them to remove the machine, saying it's illegal to have it there. He originally intended to charge them $1 per page for copies, but came up with the lease arrangement as a compromise.
The total monthly cost of the lease will be $638.

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