ARH strike is over

The strike between Appalachian Regional Healthcare and its nurses is over. 

After a strike that lasted nearly three months, both sides have announced that they reached a tentative agreement. Details of the agreement will be kept confidential until the approximately 700 registered nurses represented by the Kentucky and West Virginia Nurses Associations have the opportunity to vote on the new proposal tomorrow and Saturday. 

Pat Tanner, chief negotiator for the Kentucky and West Virginia Nurses Associations, said that the last three months have been a difficult time for everyone, but, “I am happy to report that in this proposed tentative agreement – the Kentucky and West Virginia Nurses Associations remain strong and intact.  No nurse is left behind and our issues have been addressed.”  

ARH official Dan Fitzpatrick said the agreement reflects compromises by both parties. Governor Joe Manchin said in a statement that he is “pleased that they were able to come back to the table and reach an agreement that gets our nurses back to work, and enables ARH to continue providing quality health care for southern West Virginia.”  

About 650 nurses walked off the job Oct. 1. Earlier this month, they rejected a contract offer in a 455-5 vote. The strike forced Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital to lay off 17 workers and close one floor. The hospital was seeing fewer patients because many refused to cross the picket line. 

Nurses say their main purpose for striking is the well-being of their patients. They say that staffing levels are spread too thin and mandatory overtime has become the norm. Hospital officials say that federal and state regulators have never found that ARH’s staffing levels adversely affect patient outcomes. 

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One Comment on “ARH strike is over”

  1. M Shepherd Says:

    While healthcare may vary from area to area, in Whitesburg I can attest that the nurses here were consistently required to work excessively long hours. That was not conducive to quality patient care. I am not a nurse here, but have visited patients in the local facility, and the nurses were exhausted. Does the hospital and/or nurses care about my family member under these circumstances? It makes a difference to me.

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