|By PR Newswire||
|September 23, 2013 11:42 AM EDT||
National Union Leader Will Join Picket Line at 7 a.m.; Rally Set for 11 a.m.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As they press ahead with efforts to reach agreement on a new contract, nurses at Northside Medical Center will stage a one-day, unfair labor practice strike on Tuesday.
"We would rather be sitting down at the bargaining table than walking a picket line," said Eric Williams, president of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association. "But our employer appears to prefer hiring outside nurses at $55 an hour instead of negotiating with Youngstown nurses who live in this community and serve its people every day."
That rate, Williams said, is considerably more than the average pay of YGDNA members—nurses who simply have been trying to get Northside management and the Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc., the for-profit owner of the hospital, to discuss contract issues that could affect the quality of patient care.
Some contract terms proposed by the employer have the potential to undermine nurses' ability to speak out in the future about issues such as safety and patient care. Nurses currently have the contractual right to bring up such concerns. YGDNA members are also concerned about CHS proposals that could lead to the rationing of nursing care at the hospital.
When picketing begins at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, American Federation of Teachers Executive Vice President Francine Lawrence, a Youngstown native, will join nurses on the sidewalk outside the hospital. The AFT is the national union with which the Ohio Nurses Association is affiliated. ONA is the official bargaining agent for the Northside nurses.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AND MEDIA AVAILABILITIES
WHO: Northside nurses; YGDNA President Eric Williams; AFT Executive Vice President Francine Lawrence; other union leaders, and other supporters.
WHAT: One-day work stoppage; picketing; and rally.
SCHEDULE: 7 a.m. – Picketing begins, with Williams and Lawrence leading picketers.
11 a.m. – Rally on the picket line. Lawrence and other leaders will speak, with media availability afterward.
All day – nurses and supporters on picket line.
WHERE: Northside Medical Center, 500 Gypsy Lane, Youngstown, OH 44501
SOURCE Ohio Nurses Association