Nurses ratified a new 3-year deal late Friday
EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – After a nearly two-year battle with East Liverpool City Hospital, the nurses represented by the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) overwhelmingly ratified a new three -year agreement Friday evening. The agreement is a significant improvement over the hospital’s rejected previous final offer that left the nurses without a contract for more than a year and a half. The nurses were able to secure:
- A new wage scale with nurses receiving a minimum 5% increase.
- A retroactive wage increase date of June 12, 2022.
- Protections if health care plans change and a cap on potential increased costs through the term of the agreement.
- Improvements in tuition reimbursement and differentials.
- Maintaining contract provisions that recognize nurses’ legal and ethical obligation to advocate for their patients and requiring the hospital to involve nurses in decisions affecting “changes in the delivery of care.”
- Maintaining and improving other important working conditions that allow nurses to have a healthy work-life balance.
In addition to this settlement, the hospital has committed to bargain with ONA over the allocation of a portion of a one-time payment from the Ohio Department of Medicaid received by the hospital in June 2022. The payment was made to the hospital pursuant to House Bill 169 passed in December 2021. The bill requires the payment to be used as “Workforce Incentive Payments” and must be used for direct care staff.
“This hasn’t been an easy journey for any of us, but I am so proud of our union nurses for continuing to stand up for what’s right and necessary. The nursing profession is in crisis, with more than 40% considering leaving the profession. It’s more important than ever for changes that will recruit and retain nurses at the bedside. And while this agreement is far superior to the hospital previous proposal, we still must work together to make sure nurses choose East Liverpool City Hospital instead of neighboring facilities,” stated Bobbie Kerns, President of the East Liverpool Nurses Association and ICU nurse.
In February, the Hospital was ordered by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to bargain in good faith, read aloud a statement guaranteeing the Hospital won’t violate nurses’ federal labor rights, and pay over $170,00 in backpay to the nurses after initially denying any wrongdoing. More than 40 nurses received amounts ranging from $1,000 to more than $5,000 in backpay.
The Ohio Nurses Association unit at the Hospital consists of about 110 registered nurses, 20% fewer than when negotiations began in summer 2020. The new agreement will expires July 21, 2025.
Contact: Molly Homan, Ohio Nurses Association, [email protected], 614-746-9914