Tonawanda News

Local News

February 27, 2013

WALKING THE LINE

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — “The health care landscape is very different today than it was during previous contract negotiations, and the future will bring even more financial challenges,” Chuck Hayes, a spokesperson for the hospital, said. “While it is sometime difficult to accept, we have to take all these factors into consideration to ensure our long term viability and avoid the reductions other institutions have had to make over the past several years.”

According to a prepared statement from the hospital, the contract includes wage increases totaling 10 percent over the four years, no changes to pension benefits and a "high quality health plan." 

“This is essentially the same contract that was accepted by our registered nurses at Mercy Hospital and Sisters Hospital St. Joseph Campus,” Hayes said. “Its provisions reflect the changes we are seeing in our hospitals as a result of health reform and the escalating financial pressures being placed all healthcare providers from the state and federal government to operate more efficiently.”

The union and hospital administrators are scheduled to meet today to discuss the contract.

"We'll see if they offer anything different," Arnet said. 

But according to the hospital's statement, the current proposal is the hospital's best offer. 

“We are certainly willing to meet with the union to discuss the merits of the contract and remain open to scheduling a revote," Hayes said. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150

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