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ValleyCare officials: Northside RNs accepted Aug. economic package

Published: Fri, January 31, 2014 @ 12:08 a.m.



By William K. Alcorn



ValleyCare Northside Medical Center officials said the contract ratified Wednesday by registered nurses includes the same economic package made in the final offer to the union in August 2013.

The new 12-month contract mirrors contracts previously accepted by all other union-represented employees across ValleyCare, according to Northside’s statement Thursday.

The previous Youngs-town General Duty Nurse Association/Ohio Nurse Association contract expired July 19, 2012. The new agreement contains no retroactivity provisions, hospital officials said.

Significant issues of the agreement include competitive wage increases, the hospital added.

Although the hospital did not provide details of the economic package, Eric Williams, president of YGDNA, said RNs will get at least a 21/2 percent across-the-board pay increase, and in addition, some nurses will get longevity step increases that had been frozen for several years. The union represents about 390 nurses.

Also, the hospital said, the contract includes comprehensive benefits with the affordable medical insurance plan provided to all other ValleyCare employees, and low-volume staff flexing terms that are the same as those previously ratified by five other ValleyCare bargaining units.

The contract allows the hospital to flex staffing levels during periods of low volume, which is a standard practice across the hospital industry, according to the Northside statement.

“We value all of our employees and are pleased to have finally reached an agreement that allows us to provide wage increases that we have wanted our nurses to have,” said Trish Hrina, vice president of marketing and public relations for Northside and ValleyCare Health System of Ohio. “Regardless of any distractions, our hospital remained focused on our primary purpose of providing patients with high-quality, compassionate care.”

Northside on Gypsy Lane, Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, and Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland are affiliated with ValleyCare.


1dd933(310 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Regardless of what management's statement says and what the almighty Vindicator reports - the Nurses won! They got a raise and the right to speak out for the patients.

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2polhack(129 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

And another union discovers it's not the only dog in the ring with teeth.
This trend will continue until some junior executive anxious to make his or her bones with the boss and boost their bonus insists that cutting Joe Lunchbox's wages and adding to his hours is the best way to increase profits. Then the pendulum will reverse direction again. Until then, unions will continue to decline as they are pointless except as a means of enriching their leadership.

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3billdog1(5771 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

polhack, as dd933 stated this union won. Although the vindi said the nurses got what was offered in Aug., that is inaccurate. The nurses were asked to take concessions, pay more for less in terms of health care and be at the bottom of Valleys rung. I personally won't use Valley any longer and was a TMH user my entire life. Valley treats their employees like crap. They use poor tactics in dealing with their employees which intern reflects in the care of their patents. I'd hate to see these employees loose their jobs but would love to see a divide and concur mentality management loose every penny of their investment for treating the employees like a machine or commodity.

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4polhack(129 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Billdog and dd; when the informational pickets (a misnomer, at best) were up, we heard much about how the membership was standing up for patients AND WAS OPPOSED TO FLEX TIME we heard this was not a money issue from the union. Months later, this Cracker Jack union settles for less than the cost of living, a few step increases (frozen for want of a contract), and agreement to the formerly demonized flex time. And they got this wonderful deal for a whole year, too. What happened to the grand notion of speaking up for patients? I'm sure we will see that red herring dragged out in the next twelve months to try to curry a little public support for this confrontation over cash. Health care is the new Wild West of bad behavior on all sides. Because people value their health, especially when they lose it, health care is exploited by government, care givers, insurance companies, hospitals, unions and outright criminals. I do not see, though, what benefit the Vindicator can get from this situation by reporting anything other than the facts.

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5walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

I don't know what you are reading billdog, but I can't find anywhere that indicates that ValleyCare was aking for concessions. There were always pay increases of about 2.5% with the same benefit package. But, the big item that the hospital attained is the flexible staffing level. Now, if there are less patients to treat in surgery, recovery, same-day care, etc., nurses will be sent home. This is a reality of today's hospital structures. No more sitting around if there is nothing to do. The next big item coming down the road will be the subcontracting of housekeeping and food service to totally outside contractors. This means an end to the SEIU union workers employed by ValleyCare and significant reduction in bottom line expenses.

So, how did that one-day strike work out for the ONA? I still haven't received an answer to my question about the union leadership, such as Eric Williams, scheduling vacation days on the day of the strike, preventing them from being locked out.

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6YtownParent(989 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Nurses have always had the responsibility, not just the right, to speak out and document anything related to a patient's care. Failure to do so could find them stripped of their professional credentials and/or subject to legal liability. The nurses didn't win anything, they simply took what little the company was offering. It was either accept that contract, continue to work without a contract or go find another job elsewhere.

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7papa1(711 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

eric Williams is an embarrassing failure as president of the nurses union, and if valleycare thinks it will be easy screwing over the seiu they're in for a shock. compared to the nurses, the seiu is a REAL union.

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