FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2013
Northside Nurses Say Employer’s Charge Is Little More
Than Eleventh-Hour Bid to Intimidate Them
One-Day, Unfair Labor Practice Strike Will Go Forward on Tuesday
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio—On the eve of their one-day, unfair labor practice strike at Northside Medical Center, nurses said today that a last-minute management challenge of the strike notice issued earlier this month is a blatant attempt to harass and intimidate nurses.
“There can be no question that Northside management has been adequately notified of our plans,” said Eric Williams, president of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association. “After all, they and Northside’s for-profit corporate owner have hired outside nurses at $55 an hour to take our places on Tuesday. Their baseless claim that the notice of this strike was somehow inadequate is a transparent ploy to threaten our members.”
Leaders of the nurses union said the one-day job action will go ahead as planned, and they also took steps to file an unfair labor practice charge against management for illegal intimidation of nurses at the hospital.
“The intent of the notice requirement is to give the hospital enough advance warning so that they can make plans to operate during the strike,” said Kelly Trautner, deputy executive officer for the Ohio Nurses Association, the official bargaining agent for the Northside nurses. “This claim by the employer is a last-minute attempt by local management and Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc. to undermine the commitment of nurses to stand up for continued quality care at Northside. That won’t happen.”
At meetings of YGDNA members through the day on Monday, nurses expressed their resolve to continue the fight to reach a fair contract agreement.
“Despite this eleventh-hour attempt to threaten and frighten our members, Northside’s nurses are overwhelmingly in favor of pressing forward,” said American Federation of Teachers Executive Vice President Francine Lawrence, a Youngstown native. “And I am proud to say that I will be on the picket line with them. We won’t be bullied or pushed aside from our goal.” The AFT is the national union with which the Ohio Nurses Association is affiliated.