Ohio nurses say they're ready to strike Nov. 21

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Nurses at East Liverpool (Ohio) City Hospital are ready to begin a three-day strike Nov. 21 over issues such as staffing and retention, according to the union that represents them.

The Ohio Nurses Association, which represents about 125 nurses at East Liverpool City Hospital, delivered a strike notice to hospital management during a scheduled bargaining session Nov. 10. 

The union said nurses are prepared to strike because the hospital refuses to address poor nurse retention that results in staffing problems and forced overtime. The union said it wants a revised wage scale to make pay competitive to attract and retain nurses and incentive pay for nurses who voluntarily work overtime.

"The hospital is refusing to address this well-known issue that is plaguing our hospital and, quite frankly, our patients. One unit alone is facing over 14 position vacancies, leading to poor working conditions for the nurses and patients who may not receive the kind of quality care, time and attention they need. My patients deserve better," Lori Bruce, president of the Ohio Nurses Association local unit, said in a news release. 

The hospital expressed disappointment about the strike, particularly during a pandemic, and told Becker's it looks forward to continuing talks with the union "to establish an agreement that represents the best interests of patients, nurses, employees and the communities served by East Liverpool City Hospital."

During the strike, the hospital said it will continue caring for patients with staff and technicians who are properly credentialed and prepared to provide care.  

"We thank our dedicated colleagues for putting our patients first and coming to work to ensure patients' continued health and safety," the hospital said.

The East Liverpool City Hospital nurses are operating on a contract extension that expires at 11:59 p.m. Nov. 20.


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