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Health and Medicine

Mercy Hospital faces Friday deadline for contract negotiations
Nurse staff could strike if negotiations fizzle out.

Simon Husted

A contract dispute between a labor union and the management at a Lorain hospital may lead to a strike if negotiations aren’t resolved by the end of Friday. 

About 590 registered nurses work at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain and are asking for increased wages in their next three-year contract. But administration officials say expenses have risen too high and reimbursement has fallen too low to give nurses a wage hike. They want to keep the nurse’s pay raise at a 1 to 2 percent annual increase because they say the wages are already 4 percent higher than other nurses in the surrounding area.

Although union members have yet to authorize a strike if negotiations fizzle out Friday, it remains an option on the table. Janice Yergan (UR-gen) is vice president of development at Mercy and says no matter what happens, patients can be assured it won’t affect their medical care.

Listen to Yergan.

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“We have already anticipated what we would do in the event of a work stoppage," Yergan says. "All of the clinical leadership have been involved and we will be prepared to staff up to appropriate nursing level immediately upon the event of a work stoppage.”

A union spokesperson has not responded to requests for comment, but the Lorain Morning Journal reports the union believes the pay hike is an investment in quality nursing care for the hospital.

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