Nurses union to begin campaign targeting CHS
Nurses union to begin campaign targeting CHS 
Questions about Youngstown nurses spurs coalition action
Published March 15, 2013 by Linda Bryant
A half-page print advertisement critical of Community Health Systems for its treatment of nurses will make an appearance Monday in the local media.
The ad kicks off a campaign by a coalition of nurses’ unions and the American Federation of Teachers’ health care division meant to “raise questions of the treatment of nurses” by the Brentwood-based hospital chain, said Eric Williams, president of the local Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association and a nurse at CHS-owned Northside Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio.
The campaign is the first effort of a new partnership between the National Federation of Nurses and AFT and is being funded by both groups and by a handful of health care unions. The AFT and the National Federation of Nurses recently voted to begin an affiliation in order to help nurses improve working conditions and gain more political clout, according to a recent article in The New York Times. (Read here .)
The campaign includes targeted “informational picketing” at CHS-owned hospitals around the country, including Northside Medical Center; a television advertisement (view here ) critical of CHS and supportive of nurses that will air this week in Youngstown. A website, chswatch.org , went live Monday.
No picketing is planned in Nashville.
Williams said the nurses in Youngstown have gone seven years without a raise and have been recently offered a “concessionary” pay package that lowers pay and benefits.
Community Health Systems affiliates own, operate or lease 135 hospitals in 29 states. The Brentwood-based hospital operator bought Forum Health, a system of hospitals and providers in Youngstown, in 2010 for $100 million. Company officials could not be reached for comment.