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Nurses unions reject contract offer from ARH

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A union representative for hundreds of nurses at nine hospitals in Kentucky and West Virginia says they will go on strike on Monday after rejecting a "final offer" over their contract with .

"We are being forced to strike," said Pat Tanner, lead negotiator for the Kentucky and West Virginia nurses associations, on Friday. "We continue to try to get the company to the table. They have refused - not us - to negotiate."

The registered nurses voted down ARH's proposed contract 408-228
on Thursday night. The current contract expires midnight Sept. 30.

"The vote dictated there will be a strike on Monday," Tanner said.

For ARH officials, contract talks concluded on Wednesday with their "last, best and final offer," which promised an initial 2 percent pay raise - that would increase to 3 percent over four years - and flexible schedules that would allow nurses to choose either 10 or 12-hour shifts.

Since then, ARH has not indicated any interest in furthering the
weeks-long negotiations.


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