July 23, 2014

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Nurses, Lorain hospital reach pact

LORAIN — A three-year pact providing for raises for nurses at Community Regional Medical Center took effect Tuesday.

The Service Employees International Union District 1199 and the hospital had been negotiating for one month before reaching an agreement last week.

“Both Community Regional Medical Center and the Service Employees International Union recognize that these are difficult economic times,” said Ed Oley, president of Community Health Partners, the hospital’s parent corporation. “Community Regional Medical Center has taken steps to secure our position in the marketplace and maintain our current strength as a leading health care provider.”

In early May, 35 employees of Community Health Partners were laid off, and another 51 had their hours reduced in an effort to stave off financial problems.

The cuts were spread throughout the hospital system and included physicians’ offices as well as at its hospitals in Oberlin and Lorain and other health-care entities.

Rob Johnson, hospital division director with SEIU, said the nurses aren’t 100 percent satisfied because they have to pay more for health insurance coverage, but they’re content.

“Based up on the economic times, we’re satisfied with the contract,” Johnson said. “We look forward to providing quality care for our patients at CRMC.”

Melissa Shay, spokeswoman for the hospital, said nurses will get a yearly pay raise during each of the next three years based on each employee’s years as a registered nurse.

Oley said the hospital is satisfied, too.

“The negotiation process with SEIU was a good process in which we reached an agreement that we believe is fair and positions our nurses and hospitals to continue to thrive in the community,” Oley said.

Neither side would discuss specific details of the new contract.

Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144 or acastelli@chroniclet.com.