EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – Columbiana County residents may be forced to drive farther to the hospital because East Liverpool City Hospital is preparing for a nurses strike if the two sides don’t come to a resolution.
The two sides are still negotiating, but the nurses union said it will hit the picket line Sunday if an agreement is not reached by midnight Saturday. And on Wednesday afternoon, the hospital stopped admitting patients, although the hospital does remain open.
The East Liverpool Nurses Association issued a 10-day strike notice last week. Their main concern is air wages and competitive benefits.
“Everybody wants better working conditions,” said Jack Clutter.
Clutter, who was born and raised in East Liverpool, has been around for many strikes, including the last two at the city hospital in 1988 and 2003. But, this time around, the impending strike has him uneasy.
“I will be 85 years old come October. Sure, it concerns me,” he said.
“I was shell shocked because I am disabled myself,” said resident Kristi Phillips.
If the nurses go on strike, many patients will be forced to drive upwards of 30 miles to seek treatment at another hospital.
“It’s very scary for me. I don’t want to travel all that far to get admitted into a hospital. It’s ridiculous,” Phillips said.
Residents said they hope the hospital doesn’t push the nurses into a strike that may jeopardize people’s health.
“I hope everything goes right for the nurses and everything. I hope they don’t have to go on strike,” said resident Tim Jackson.