The head of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association is hopeful that a new contract can be reached with ValleyCare Health System of Ohio before the current work agreement expires July 19.
The YGDNA represents about 400 registered nurses at ValleyCare Northside Medical Center.
After years of concessionary contracts with their former employer, fiscally troubled Forum Health, Eric Williams, YGDNA president, said he is optimistic about achieving a work agreement that meets the needs of all parties involved because the union is negotiating with a strong, financially viable employer this time around.
Northside, Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland were purchased by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems, which created ValleyCare.
Along with ValleyCare, CHS owns, operates or leases more than 134 hospitals in 29 states, according to the company’s website. CHS reported a net revenue of $13.6 billion in 2011 and benefits from continued growth and success, Williams said.
The YGDNA, affiliated with the Ohio Nurses Association, continues to advocate safe staffing, a safe work environment, quality patient care and economic and general-welfare enhancements commensurate with the values of its registered nurses, Williams said.
Nurses at Hillside, whose contract also expires July 19, also are in contract negotiations with CHS.
Talks are scheduled Wednesday and Thursday and July 11, 12, 18 and 19 if needed, said Atty. Kathleen Slater of ONA.