Strike in 3rd week at Ohio system: 10 things to know

Unionized hospital workers at Toledo, Ohio-based Mercy Health-St. Vincent Medical Center are now in their third week of a strike, according to Cincinnati.com.

10 things to know:

1. The strike began May 6.

2. It comes as hospital officials are in negotiations with United Automobile Workers Local 2213, which represents about 1,000 nurses at St. Vincent, and United Automobile Workers Local 12, which represents 900 technical and support employees.

3. Both sides resumed negotiations May 20 after they broke down days before, according to Cincinnati.com.

4. Staffing issues, on-call policies and healthcare costs are among the key issues for striking workers.

5. Shar Brown, a second-shift charge nurse of surgery, this week told truthout.org that she voted against the hospital's last offer because "they weren't addressing mandatory overtime, they weren't addressing nurse-to-patient ratios, and they weren't budging on our healthcare and were not putting any caps on that."

6. Hospital officials — who have hired replacement workers to staff the facility during the strike — said in a May 21 update on contract negotiations that more talks are planned and they respect the federal mediator's request not to comment.

7. In a previous statement to Becker's, hospital officials said, "Mercy Health-St. Vincent Medical Center and Children's Hospital appreciates and welcomes the compassion and expertise of those who continue to serve our patients, including the hundreds of local associates who have returned to work as well as dedicated healthcare professionals from our sister hospitals and outside agencies" who have helped serve patients during the strike.

8. Health system critics, such as a constituency group of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, have said many of the bargaining issues could be resolved with money that Cincinnati-based Mercy Health — which is now merged with Bon Secours Health System in Marriottsville, Md. — is spending to be the official healthcare provider for Cincinnati's professional soccer team, according to Cincinnati.com.

9. In a statement to Cincinnati.com, Mercy Health said the decision to partner with the soccer team "is completely unrelated to our ongoing negotiations with the local UAW in Toledo. Our partnership is a Cincinnati-specific community engagement and marketing objective."

10. Negotiations between the hospital and union come as Ohio lawmakers take up a nurse overtime bill. The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Don Manning, would ban a hospital from requiring a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse to work overtime as a condition of continued employment. The Ohio Nurses Association supports the measure, arguing that mandatory overtime can result in nurse fatigue and burnout.

But the Ohio Hospital Association opposes the bill, saying that it "would hinder patient care. Staffing a hospital is a complex process that continually changes according to the quantity of patients and severity of conditions being treated."

The bill was assigned to a state House committee in March and is being deliberated by the committee.

 

More articles about human capital and risk:

Strike at Mercy Health-St. Vincent Medical Center continues for second week
U of California hospital workers walk off the job
UC Davis Health residents, fellows can have union representation, state labor board says

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