Thur 3 pm: Hospital plans layoffs

YOUNGSTOWN – More than 50 full-time positions are being eliminated at Northside Medical Center in areas of nursing, respiratory, imaging and laboratory, hospital officials announced today.

The cuts come amid labor tensions already existing at the facility involving more than 400 nurses represented by Ohio Nurses Association / Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association who have been working since July 2012 without a contract.

Being cut is the equivalent of 56.4 full-time positions, including both salaried and hourly workers, the hospital said.

In a prepared statement, ValleyCare Health System of Ohio Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Trish Hrina attributed the cuts to lower patient volumes and shrinking reimbursements. Hrina said national hospital volumes have been trending downward for more than a decade due largely to medical advances that make services more readily available on an outpatient basis along with growing competition from non-traditional providers.