East Liverpool nurses rescind strike notice

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – Nurses at East Liverpool City Hospital have rescinded their strike notice.

In a statement issued Friday, Mary Kay Hoppel, president of the East Liverpool Nurses Association, stated that the 133 nurses intend to report to work as scheduled.

“The nurses’ bargaining ream feels the hospital’s actions during negotiations are illegal. We will not vote today on this employer’s illegal proposal, and we have filed several unfair labor practice charges with the Labor Board. In the meantime, the nurses intend to report to work to care for our patients as usual while we wait to get a legal bargaining process restarted,” the release stated.

The East Liverpool Nurses Association issued a 10-day strike notice last week. Their main concern is fair wages and competitive benefits.

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.

Hospital officials said they 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 Thursday 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.

On Friday, the hospital released details of its current contract offer. It includes annual wage increases, significant signing bonuses, 2.5 times pay for all holidays worked, up to 28 vacation days plus seven holidays, 100 percent tuition reimbursement and short and long term disability paid by the hospital.

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