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Northside nurses want to resume talks with ValleyCare

Published: Thu, August 8, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

Nurses believe reasonable solutions are possible

By William K. Alcorn



The Youngstown General Duty Nurse Association, after its membership’s rejection Tuesday of ValleyCare Health System’s final contract officer, wants to get back to the bargaining table as soon as possible.

A letter was sent Wednesday to the negotiating team of Community Health System, parent of ValleyCare, requesting the resumption of contract negotiations.

“We think there are reasonable solutions to our issues,” said Eric Williams, president of YGDNA, which represents more than 400 registered nurses at Northside Medical Center on Gypsy Lane. The nurses have been working without a contract since July 19, 2012.

“One of our problems is that we are not negotiating with anybody from Youngstown ... people who understand the area. We are negotiating with people from out of state,” he said.

ValleyCare spokeswoman Trish Hrina said the company has no further comments beyond those made Tuesday after the contract was rejected.

“ValleyCare is still pursuing a resolution to the negotiations,” she said. “We are committed to continuing in a productive, mutually beneficial and respectful relationship with all of our employees.”

“Northside is a great hospital, but we have concerns about things such as ‘nurse rationing,’” Williams said.

How does a hospital send a nurse home then try to get one back in a timely manner if there is an emergency? Williams asked.

“You can’t predict an emergency,” he added. “Our nurses really believe that this is a fight for patient safety and quality care. It’s just really unfortunate that the out-of-state corporate managers that we’re negotiating with are approaching care in the [Mahoning] Valley with a one-size-fits-all approach, sacrificing patient care just to increase their profits.”

Williams said the union may contact members of Northside’s Advisory Committee in the near future and ask them to get involved. The nurses also have authorized the issuance of a 10-day strike notice, if necessary.

He said the company has sort of a “canned statement” that the contract offered to Northside nurses mirrors the ones accepted by ValleyCare hospital nurses at Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland and Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren.


1willinnyny(115 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

As it is now, Health Care in Youngstown is substandard; it simply is not comparable to what you find in Cleveland or Pittsburgh.


Because very good doctors and nurses go where they can make the best living.

If you don't pay nurses a competitive wage and give them competitive benefits, you won't get very good nurses.

Remember what your mother said?
You get what you pay for.

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2southsidedave(5183 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

To the above comment - is that supposed to intimidate ValleyCare into paying higher wages?

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3walter_sobchak(2585 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

People don't make their choices based on nursing staff. They make their choice based on the best doctors. That has been a problem for the former Youngstown Hospital System; they can't keep good doctors because the area is depressed. It was the whole reason that Tod Children's Hospital was phased out - lack of pediatric doctors. My suggestion to the nurses is that they should most certainly explore other employment options. Why would any competent thinking individual be a member of a labor union, paying someone for the right to work, all while protecting the incompetent?

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