EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) — Patient admissions were halted as of 2 p.m. Wednesday at East Liverpool City Hospital after the nurses union issued a 10-day strike notice last week.
The hospital administration said in a news release that the East Liverpool Nurses Association issued a strike notice prior to entering their last week of negotiations with the hospital leadership.
The strike takes effect at midnight Saturday, but the hospital said the 10-day notice required them to begin immediate preparations for a strike, including halting admissions. If an agreement is not reached, nurses will be on the picket line on Sunday.
Officials with the hospital issued a news release Thursday saying various units will be closed for the duration of the strike, if one should occur. The Emergency Department, Wound Care Center, and Senior Behavioral Health will remain open as well as most outpatient departments including lab, radiology, therapy, echo and EKG, according to the release.
Hospital administrators said increased costs of providing health care services has “created long-term decline in financial resources available” and that the wage and benefits package they offered workers match that of more than 33,000 health care workers in Ohio.
The news release said hospital officials have offered the nurses “an excellent wage and benefit package that includes increases, education tuition reimbursement, paid time off, health benefit options and a competitive retirement plan.”
Representatives with the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) issued a statement stating that ELCH did not share the proposed benefit package, nor have they provided the data for their comparison with other health care workers in state.
“ELCH says on one hand they are offering our nurses a generous package but on the other hand are decreasing pay and benefits, claiming a steady financial decline. They have refused to show us their financials to support their claims until earlier this afternoon and have yet to show us a proposal that is a supposedly ‘generous offer’ to our nurses,” stated Christopher Moses, the ONA
Labor Relations Specialist representing the nurses.
Moses also stated that the hospital is demanding there be no restrictions on down staffing or mandatory overtime.
East Liverpool City Hospital is in the process of a merger with Humility of Mary Health Partners, which operates St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown and St. Joseph Health Center in Warren.