Registered nurses have reached an agreement with Appalachian Regional Healthcare to end a contentious three-month strike.
Nurses represented by the Kentucky and West Virginia nurses associations agreed Dec. 22 after two days of voting to accept a compensation and benefit package and return to work, effective immediately, according to the healthcare system, based in Lexington, Ky. The system will recall 350 nurses by Jan. 31 and the rest of the 700 nurses covered under the contract will be back to work by March 31, Appalachian Regional said in a written statement.
Nurses walked off the job when the old contract expired Sept. 30 and continued negotiations while striking. The union complained that the healthcare system was wiping out pay increases with greater benefit premiums and a cut in holiday pay, while Appalachian Regional called the nurses demand to be paid for not working four hours a week excessive under current market pressures.
The nurses contract runs through April 2011. -- by Jean DerGurahian