TOLEDO (WTVG) – Mercy Health and the nurses union have reached a tentative agreement, ending the strike that has lasted more than a month, but nurses won’t return to work until after they’ve had the chance to see that new deal.
The union agreed to end the strike and “made an unconditional offer to return to work on behalf of all former strikers” on Wednesday afternoon. A ratification vote is still needed on the agreement and nurses will have a chance to view the terms of that agreement in two meetings of the union on Saturday.
“We are so excited about this. This is all we wanted all along,” said Pamela Minnich. “We didn’t want to come out here in the beginning. We are really grateful they were able to come to this point”
“I don’t think Sue would have brought it to a vote if it wasn’t work us voting on. Sue knows what the nurses have been wanting,” RN Barb Mazur said. “We wanted reduced on call hours especially for our nurses who are working in surgery and dialysis and she’s been chomping at the bit to get that done for us.”
The announcement was made by the UAW on Wednesday afternoon, saying the deal “addresses many of the nurses’ major concerns, including quality-of-life issues.”
But according to Mercy Health, the UAW will recommend that the nurses vote to ratify the previous proposal.
The Mercy Health statement is printed in full below:
St. Vincent Medical Center and Children’s Hospital is pleased to learn that the UAW and Local 2213 have ended the strike and have made an unconditional offer to return to work. We are looking forward to welcoming back our nurses and moving forward together in the care of our community.
We understand that our UAW-represented associates in the RN Unit will be voting on the proposed contract on Thursday and Friday. Mercy Health is pleased to learn that the UAW will recommend that the nurses vote to ratify our previous proposal.
If ratified, Mercy Health will be able to implement our previous proposal, which offered:
• Increased wages, plus additional market adjustment for eligible nurses;
• Increases in tuition reimbursement and the student loan-forgiveness program;
• Access to incentives through an employee reward (bonus) program; and
• Increases in weekend premium, shift differential and multiple location premiums.
We understand this has been a challenging time for the entire community, and we look forward in coming together to fulfill our Mission and continue to serve those in need while providing high quality and compassionate care — as we have for 163 years. We are currently coordinating the schedule and reengagement process for nurses to return to work. We welcome those associates rejoining the many who have already returned to work and together – we will continue to care for our patients, their families and our community.
UAW spokeswoman Sandy Theis responded to Mercy Health’s statement by saying, “The tentative agreement includes important improvements from the previous proposal but we do not want to get into details until our membership has been fully briefed.”