Heritage Valley Health System nurses strike over working conditions, benefits

Nurses at Heritage Valley Beaver (Pa.) began a previously announced one-day strike at 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to a WESA report.

The workers are demanding better working conditions and benefits.

Molly Romigh, RN, union chapter president with Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania, told WESA nurses are not happy with the RN-to-patient ratios maintained by their employer. She added the union also wants an additional emergency room nurse. Additionally, nurses are advocating for better benefits.

Heritage Valley Beaver, part of Sewickley, Pa.-based Heritage Valley Health System, took out newspaper ads in the Sunday editions of the Beaver County Times on July 10 and 17 in response to the nurse strike, saying it will work with the union, according to the report.

In the ad, the hospital said it "will continue to negotiate in good faith" with the union and is "committed to a competitive pay and benefit program." The hospital also noted that its patient staffing ratios are "more favorable than our community based competitors who provide comparable healthcare services." The hospital did not immediately respond to a request from WESA for more details on those ratios.

The nurses' previous contract expired June 30. At least 12 negotiating sessions have been conducted.

 

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