Still no nurse pact at Northside

YOUNGSTOWN – After negotiating for more than four hours Wednesday, nurses and hospital management at Northside Medical Center walked away with still no labor contract.

It was the first attempt to work out terms of a new contract since the union last month defeated what the hospital termed its “final offer.”

About 430 nurses represented by the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association / Ohio Nurses Association have been working more than a year without a labor pact. Union members on Aug. 6 overwhelmingly defeated what the hospital described as its “final offer” and instead gave authorization to strike.

Neither side on Wednesday released details about the bargaining session.

ONA communications director Molly Ackey said the bargaining team will review the day’s discussions and decide on the next appropriate move.

Hospital spokeswoman Trish Hrina confirmed negotiations were under way Wednesday but said no update on talks was immediately available.

Both sides previously have said they plan to be prepared should a work stoppage occur.

Ahead of Wednesday’s bargaining session, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, met with representatives of the union and on Monday released a letter he had sent to Northside chief executive officer Kirk Ray urging quick resolution to the issue.

“Compromise is what the collective bargaining process is all about. It is in this spirit that I ask that you and your staff work diligently towards a fair and equitable agreement that allows the nurses to continue providing the high quality of care they have performed for so many years,” Brown wrote in his letter.