Northside nurses to vote Wednesday

YOUNGSTOWN — Nurses at Northside Regional Medical Center will vote Wednesday on a tentative agreement with Steward Health Care, according to a union spokeswoman.

Molly Homan, director of communications for the Ohio Nurses Association, was tight-lipped Monday on the contents of the proposed agreement struck Thursday night with the health care provider and did not disclose the location of the vote.

However, she said voting will occur over an extended period of time to accommodate the varying work schedules of the 188 registered nurses represented by the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association, which is a member of the Ohio Nurses Association.

Results of the vote could be available as soon as Thursday.

The union was to negotiate severance packages with Steward at the end of August into early this month after the Boston-based health care provider announced Aug. 15 it will be closing the facility on Gypsy Lane on Sept. 20 because it was under-utilized.

Union officials said Aug. 16 outside the facility that the goal of the negotiations was to make sure members received severance packages large enough to give them adequate time to find jobs with comparable pay elsewhere in the region.

Steward did not provide a comment on the tentative agreement.

The hospital will stop taking ambulances and admissions in the emergency department Sept. 17, and by Sept. 19 Northside intends to transfer or discharge any remaining patients, according to a letter posted to Northside’s website.

Patients are expected to be transferred to Trumbull Regional Medical Center, owned by Steward, and other local hospitals.

Employees will be paid through Oct. 14, according to the company.