Appalachian nursing strike continues

For about seven weeks, the majority of nurses working for the Appalachian region's largest hospital system have been on strike--and the strike seems poised to drag out further. Despite help from a federal mediator and state officials, nurses and management at Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) are still not in agreement. Nurses have contended that they're overworked, and that nurse-to-patient ratios aren't low enough to ensure safe patient care. The new contract proposed by the system, and rejected by the nurses, would have increased insurance premiums for families, cut holiday pay and stopped paying nurses 40 hours of pay for 36 hours of work. Meanwhile, 600 of the hospital's 750 RNs have refused to cross the picket line at the system's nine hospitals, which span eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. To date, ARH has filled about 125 positions once held by striking workers. 

To find out more about the strike:
- read this Associated Press piece

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