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Tentative accords reached at Forum

Published: Fri, September 17, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Grace Wyler

Unions vote next week; ONA reps not ‘satisfied’




Unions representing more than 1,500 workers at Forum Health have reached tentative agreements with Community Health Systems.

But some union leaders remain skeptical that the Fortune 500 company will value quality care over the bottom line.

After more than a month of negotiations, Community Health Systems, the Tennessee-based company that purchased bankrupt Forum for $120 million Aug. 10, has concluded talks with the Ohio Nurses Association and Service Employees International Union District 1199 this week, union officials and company representatives said Thursday.

The ONA represents registered nurses at Forum’s Northside Medical Center in Youngstown and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland, and the SEIU represents service workers at Northside and Trumbull Memorial Hospital of Warren.

Union members are scheduled to vote on the agreements early next week. Officials said they would not reveal details of the agreements until after the vote.

But ONA representatives were “less than satisfied” with their negotiations with CHS, said Eric Williams, president of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association at Northside. Williams declined to give details about the agreement.

“What we found was that CHS had little concern for the value of our registered nurses or the importance of their work,” Williams added in a statement. “CHS representatives left the ONA RN representatives with the impression that profit ranks higher than quality and RN satisfaction in the CHS list of priorities.”

The union that represents the remainder of Forum’s 3,500 to 4,000 workers is still in talks with CHS, said company spokeswoman Tomi Galin.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represent nurses at Trumbull Memorial and Hillside, met with CHS on Thursday, and the parties are set to meet again next week, she said.

AFSCME officials did not respond to calls to comment.

“We are very pleased that agreements have been reached with the ONA and SEIU,” Galin said. “We are making good progress in our efforts to finalize the acquisition of Forum Health and hope that the transaction will be completed soon.”

The purchase, approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kay Woods on Aug. 10, still is being reviewed by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, who must sign off on the proposal before the transaction can be finalized.

Cordray said Thursday that review is nearly complete.

“We are very close,” he said. “Possibly as soon as early next week.”


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The day of strong unions at Forum are dead. CHS holds all the cards. Be glad you have a job now in this economy because by rights Northside should have been closed because the area doesn't need that hospital capacity any longer.

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2realitycheq(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Wow - maybe CHS isn't the savior everyone said they were? they are a for profit company do you really think they care about the workin man? They are in this to make money!

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3Eric(205 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Obviously CHS is a for-profit company, and they are in the business to make money. Forum has already proven that it can't maintain solvency. CHS has been successful in acquiring bankrupt non-profit-hospitals and making them solvent. But that solvency comes at a price. For-profit healthcare is a different culture. The days of the powerful nurses union are gone. Unions are rare in the south, and I don't see CHS welcoming any unions who try to push their weight around.

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4Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

It's moot,..

Community Health Services has apparently already ruined what was established as great quality care at the former forum health facilities.

Beyond my own family physician severing ties with practicing out of there. Upon inquiry I was informed none of their colleagues no longer practicing anywhere in the former Forum health facilities either since the Community Health takeover.

Where along with and beyond knowing that. I've recently been informed from close friends that Community Health services has ruined the services there to a point they'll never go back.

One took his son there with a soccer injury and another whom took herself for onset of discomfort were livid about how it's changed.

In both cases they gave practically the same account of under staffing and money being the ultimate question.

Irony is along with having the utmost respect for my Doc. Both those friends that were livid about what they experienced both have damn good Health care plans too.

So with that being fact now just imagine how those who don't have top notch coverage will be treated,.. and or NOT treated.

The shame of it all is the area NEEDS those health centers and unfortunately I don't see them remaining viable as remaining open beyond a year from now.

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5Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

@ Union_never

You're a lying nut,..

It's something how you'll say anything just for the sake of espousing your own inaccurate innuendo.

First off if the area didn't have a need for the capacity any longer like you so grossly lied about. Then a for profit outfit damn sure wouldn't have ever gotten into the bidding for purchase.

See they're a business and in a manner of prospecting they did the regional numbers first. For which they unquestionably saw the financial gain well worth their investment interest,.. nobody ASKED them to buy Forum.

Not only that but you're too stupid to realize that they even raised their bidding a number of times to trap that market that they'd surveyed.

They're a southern based pack of money chasers that's showing their stripes. By how the intolerable drop off of quality care has immediately already surfaced there.

It's so bad that in Youngstown the loss of Forums care has St. Elizabeth's swamped with the overload of patients.

The shame is under forum they had some exceptional personnel and top notch care going on there. Now CHS has placed their stamp on it all and it's horrifying.

By all means don't just take my word for it. Ask your family, friends and physicians about what they've experienced and how it's affected them.

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6joebag09(347 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

UnionFoever....... if you're going to comment, make sence! If Northside isn't needed, then why are they still as busy as they are? Yes, the whole system was poorly managed, but they do continue to provide care and folks still use and prefer this system.

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