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.