Northside Hospital nurses authorized to issue strike notice

( YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – General Duty Nurses who work at Northside Hospital have given their negotiating team the authorization to issue a strike notice.

After approximately two months of negotiations with Valley Health Care System, the 400 member Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association at Northside Hospital approved a strike authorization for its bargaining unit.

“They’re very upset over the position that they’ve taken that allows a nurse’s salary to be cut by 50 percent. If they’re a full time nurse, a part-time nurse,” said president of YGDNA Eric Williams.

Health care and staffing are other sticking points in the contract negotiations.

“On a daily basis, nurses are working overtime. There’s a lot of supplemental agency nurses there and the idea to suggest to these nurses they would be down staffed or sent home is almost an absurdity,” Williams said.

This vote gives the bargaining team the authority to issue a ten day strike notice, if it deems it’s necessary during the course of negotiations.

However, the nurses continue to hope for progress.

“The nurses remain committed to the patient’s in this community. They are going to be patient in this process and do everything they can to make sure we remain committed to working with the hospital,” Williams said.

Nurses will meet with the hospital again at the bargaining table on July 18th.