News & Events

Ohio Nurses Association Approves One-Year Employment Contract with ACH

December 7, 2009

The <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Alliance local unit of the Ohio Nurses Association has approved a one-year employment contract with AllianceCommunityHospital.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

Representatives from ACH and the local branch of the ONA's Alliance local unit had been meeting in negotiation sessions for the past several weeks to discuss terms of the contract.  The ratification comes on the heels of a day-long negotiation session with a federal mediator on Thursday, December 03, 2009 at which time a mutual resolution became imminent. 

 

The ONA represents almost 180 registered nurses employed at ACH and the new employment contract, which began yesterday, expires in December 2010.

 

“We're beyond pleased that we were able to come to this agreement with our registered nurses whose professionalism and compassion helps to make ACH the standout facility we are,†said Stan Jonas, FACHE and CEO of ACH.

 

“It was a difficult negotiations process, however, the agreement that was reached is in the best interest of the bargaining unit and the Alliance community,†said Gary Seigerst, ONA Labor Relations Specialist and chief negotiator for the Alliance local unit.

 

Jonas noted that the Board of Trustees and leadership team of ACH has asked all of its staff members to take active interest and participation in helping ACH retain its strong position as Alliance's premier healthcare provider and also as one of the region's largest employers.

 

As part of the contract's terms, ACH nurses agreed to a temporary wage freeze.  All ACH colleagues will follow suit.  During 2009, the ACH management team agreed to a voluntary salary reduction of 2.3%.  All of these measures are being taken to offset the cost of newly-mandated state franchise fee imposed on hospitals, as well as ACH's recent drastic increase in charity care and bad debt (this refers to instances in which patients receive health care services but are unwilling or unable to pay their bills). 

 

ACH is in the midst of a sweeping Job Protection and Viability Plan, in order to retain its marketplace standing as well as to prepare for whatever additional financial burdens the proposed health care reform legislation may pose to small rural hospitals such as Alliance Community.  Jonas said that the nurses' contract ratification is a positive step toward the future.

 

“We are anticipating a tough year in 2010 with uncertain changes in health care reform and additional bed tax and franchise fees being imposed on hospitals.  But we face the challenges united as a team and ready, as always, to provide the best health care services in the most soothing healing environment,†he said. 

 

“We're proud of the job both negotiating teams did at the table and especially of their successful outcome.  This is proof of the strong sense of team here at ACH,†Jonas said.

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