Talks to continue over weekend between Forum Health, unions


The communication lines remain open between Forum and its unions.

STAFF REPORT

YOUNGSTOWN — A bankruptcy court filing asking that union contracts be modified is “not on the front burner,” said Walter Pishkur, president and chief executive officer of Forum Health.

Pishkur said Thursday that negotiations in which the hospital system is seeking concessions from its union employees are going well and likely will continue over the weekend and into next week.

Pishkur said Forum, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize, still has the option of going to court to ask that the contract be modified.

He said, however, the lines of communication remain open between the two sides, calling that a good sign that an agreement can be reached.

In recent press briefings, Pishkur stressed that the court is giving Forum only four months to make all of its properties financially self-sufficient. He said the reorganization is going well to date but that current expenses must be further reduced in order to meet financial obligations.

He said that for the first time in several years, all three of the system’s major facilities — Northside Medical Center in Youngstown, Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland — recently made money.

Forum is conducting negotiations with the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association/Ohio Nurses Association at Northside; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2026, which represents nurses at TMH; and Service Employees International Union District 1199, which represents support employees at Northside.

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