July 17,2007: Reps. Ryan and Wilson Urge Nurses Association/ONA and Forum to Negotiate Deal
Congressmen call settlement on a contract crucial to our communities' health
(Washington, DC) Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17) and Congressman Charlie Wilson (OH-06) called upon the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association/Ohio Nurses Association and Forum Health to come to a settlement on a new contract before ONA members begin a general strike. Forum Health, which operates two health centers in Youngstown that are currently negotiating with the union, has said they may be forced to close Northside Medical Center should nurses take to the picket line.
"It is crucial to the health and wellbeing of our community for the two sides to come to an agreement before time runs out," said Congressman Tim Ryan and Congressman Charlie Wilson in a joint statement. "We are asking each side to do this for the benefit of our community. Neither side may get everything they want, but the alternative would be devastating to us all. We stand ready to assist both sides to bring this to a responsible and productive end."
In addition, Congressman Ryan committed to work for both the nurses and Forum Health on the House Appropriations Committee to provide the best healthcare possible at the Forum facilities and help alleviate some of the financial burden that has forced both sides into their stalemate.
"I am confident that in the months and years to come, we can find solutions to our shared problems but we have to work together," said Congressman Tim Ryan. "We can't expect them to be solved overnight, but if we are all committed to ensuring that our community doesn't suffer, I will do everything in my power to make sure that we don't find ourselves back here again. We simply cannot afford the long term, negative consequences closing Northside Medical Center would cause."