Nurses at Mercy Regional in Ohio Agree to New Contracts, Cancel Strike

Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, Ohio, has reached an agreement with its nurses, avoiding a strike scheduled to occur this week, according to a Chronicle-Telegram report.

The hospital and members of Service Employees International Union District 1199 agreed to a new three-year contract on Saturday, avoiding a scheduled 24-hour strike Oct. 19.

The new contract eliminates defined benefit pensions for many nurses, instead offering a "rule of 75" plan. Under that, nurses whose age and time of employment at Mercy adds up to 75 years or more will continue to receive defined benefits. A member of the union's negotiating team said 100 to 200 nurses will fall under the rule of 75.

For employees who don't qualify under the rule, nurses over the age of 40 receive a "soft freeze" — their average wages continue to be considered in pension payouts, but their years of service are frozen effective Dec. 31. Nurses under age 40 receive a "hard freeze" —both average wages and years of service are frozen as of Dec. 31, according to the report.  

Union negotiators also sought annual raises of 3 to 4 percent but agreed to 1 percent raises, according to the report.

More Articles on Hospitals and Unions:

After Picket, Talks Resume Between Mercy Regional in Ohio and Nurses
Nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Massachusetts Vote to Authorize Strike
Massachusetts Nurses Assoc. Files Complaint Against Baystate Franklin Medical Center

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