Desperate to break the cycle of unsafe staffing and poor retention, nurses are ready to strike November 21st.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2020
Contact: Molly Homan, Director of Communications, Ohio Nurses Association | 614-746-9914 | firstname.lastname@example.org
EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — The nurses at East Liverpool City Hospital, represented by the Ohio Nurses Association, overwhelmingly voted late Monday in support of issuing a 10-day strike notice. The notice was delivered this morning during a scheduled bargaining session. After months of the hospital dragging its feet with bad-faith bargaining tactics, the nurses are ready to strike on November 21, 2020 if the hospital continues their refusal to address a vicious cycle of poor nurse retention that leads to short-staffed units and forced overtime – both of which can threaten safe patient care. To combat the issues at hand, the nurses insist the hospital revise the wage scale to make pay competitive with other area hospitals to attract and retain nurses and offer incentive pay for nurses who choose to work overtime.
“The hospital is refusing to address this well-known issue that is plaguing our hospital and, quite frankly, our patients. One unit alone is facing over 14 position vacancies, leading to poor working conditions for the nurses and patients who may not receive the kind of quality care, time and attention they need. My patients deserve better,” stated Lori Bruce, president of the ONA local unit. “Evidence directly links safe nurse staffing to safe patient care. But instead of putting the patients first, the hospital would rather beg nurses to pick up shifts, using terms such as ‘in desperate need’ to guilt nurses into going beyond their regularly scheduled three, 12-hour shifts, or worse, forcing our members to work beyond their 12-hour shift. More and more nurses are burning out and quitting to find better paying jobs elsewhere, leading to even more short-staffed units and forced overtime. The hospital is owned by the Prime Health Foundation, who prides itself on saving hospitals, jobs and communities. It’s time they step up to the plate and save East Liverpool City Hospital, our jobs and our community,” continued Bruce.
“I’m so disappointed it has come to this. I live in this community and I want to work and care for this community, but the hospital is making it next to impossible to follow that dream. I watched a fellow nurse reach her limit and quit in the middle of a bargaining session because the hospital refuses to make a real effort to address this issue. I am walking that picket line to secure a better future not only for my fellow nurses, but for my community,” said Jordan Wilson, a member of the nurses’ negotiating team.
The 130-person nurses’ union is operating on their second contract extension and has three bargaining dates scheduled before the strike. The original contract expired in May, but because of the pandemic, the parties agreed to an extension until October 31, 2020. An additional extension expires November 20 at 11:59pm.
About ONA: Formed in 1904, the Ohio Nurses Association is a powerful network of registered nurses who are committed to advancing nursing through education, political action and workplace advocacy. ONA is the leading voice of the approximately 190,000 professional registered nurses in Ohio. To become a member of the Ohio Nurses Association, visit www.ohnurses.org.