EL Nurses Voting Today on Hospital’s Last Offer

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — Members of Local 5903 of the Ohio Nurses Association at East Liverpool City Hospital are voting throughout today on what has been declared by the hospital at its last, best and final contract offer. 

The 127 registered nurses governed by the union have been without a contract since Nov. 21 after unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a new agreement. Nurses walked off the job for three days in November in a show of solidarity in their desire for a fair contract. They have indicated a more traditional strike is not out of the question if an agreement is not reached. 

Hospital officials have since indicated they are in the process of implementing wage increases included in the last offer made to nurses, which they say are fair but nurses say are not comparable to other facilities and will not retain current staffing or attract new nurses.

Nurse Melissa Cain addressed a committee of East Liverpool City Council earlier this week to seek support from the city, with the committee agreeing to draft a letter of support for council to consider. During her address, Cain reiterated nurses’ concern that the hospital is not offering competitive wages in its final offer. 

In response, the hospital said in a release the last, best and final offer outlines a plan by which no bargaining unit registered nurse will receive less than a 1 percent increase in the first year of the pact and that the average year one wage increase over the entire bargaining unit, is about 5 percent, with more than 43 percent of nurses receiving 5 percent or more increases. 

According to Molly Homan, director of ONA communications and marketing, voting on the offer will continue throughout Friday evening, and vote results will be addressed during a press conference in front of the hospital on Fifth Street at 10 a.m. Saturday. 

Speakers for the press conference will include union President Lori Bruce, ; bargaining unit member Cain; and city Councilman John Mercer, who chairs the Licensing and Economic Development Committee that was addressed this week on behalf of the union. 

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