CLEVELAND, Dec. 7 Contract negotiations betweenthe Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) and University Hospitals Geneva MedicalCenter (University Hospitals Geneva) broke down after the 6th session ofnegotiations on Friday, December 5. To date, the parties have been unable toreach an agreement.
At issue are economic provisions including a potential change to healthinsurance premiums. University Hospitals Geneva has indicated that they willremove premium rate charts for health insurance which cap annual increases.This will expose the nurses to increases without a ceiling on premium costs.ONA had offered to withdraw all remaining non-economic provisions, including aunion membership requirement and a successorship agreement in order to secureeconomic provisions, however, University Hospitals Geneva did not agree to theoffer. During this rough economic period, it is essential that the RNs protectthemselves from having a large employer such as University Hospitals Genevapotentially shift the cost of health insurance premiums from itself onto theindividual RNs by securing a percentage of premiums paid.
On November 25, 2008, ONA gave University Hospitals Geneva a 10-day strikenotice. As of December 7, 2008, University Hospitals Geneva has maintained itsproposals. The parties are not scheduled to meet again, however, ONA hascontinued to express an interest in negotiating an alternative proposal. Ifthe parties cannot reach an agreement before the contract expires on December9 at midnight, ONA will strike and maintain a picket line on December 10, 2008at 7:00 a.m. in front of University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center, 870 WestMain Street, Geneva, Ohio 44041.
The RNs employed by University Hospitals Geneva are professionals withhighly developed skills and extensive education. Every day they providecompassionate care to the residents of Geneva and surrounding areas whilepromoting their health and wellness. It is the hope of ONA that UniversityHospitals Geneva will reconsider its position so that a successful agreementcan be reached with its RNs that will allow them to continue to providequality care without compromising their own livelihoods.
About the Ohio Nurses Association
The Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) was established in 1904 to secure aNurse Practice Act to protect Ohio's citizens and has become the premierprofessional organization for Ohio's RNs. ONA's Economic and General Welfare(E&GW) Program was established in 1956. When the National Labor Relations Actwas amended in 1974 to allow nurses to unionize, the E&GW Program was chargedwith providing representation for nurses in collective bargaining. For moreinformation, please visit www.ohnurses.org.
SOURCE Ohio Nurses Association