Services back to normal at East Liverpool City Hospital

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – All services and admissions have returned to normal at East Liverpool City Hospital.

Hospital administrators halted admissions and adjusted patient services last week as they were faced with a pending strike last weekend by the members of the East Liverpool Nurses Association.

The nurses rescinded the strike notice Friday, May 30. Contract negotiations resumed, but no deal has been reached.

Administrators presented the 133-member unit with its best and final offer May 29. In a statement released last week, 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.” It includes annual wage increases, 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.

Union representatives said the deal includes new “management rights” that would “gut” the nurses’ professional rights. They said the hospital is demanding harsh new limits on the issues on which nurses and their union could bargain, seeking to exclude retirement and health care benefits as future subjects of bargaining.

Hospital administrators also want to lower wages for starting nurses, continue to reduce staff without limitations and require the nurses to work 16-hour shifts while eliminating over-time pay for those shifts if the nurse has not worked 40 hours in that week, according to the union.

Nurses and hospital administrators will meet again June 17.

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