KNA Officials Sit Down With The Public

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Officials from the Kentucky and West Virginia Nurses Association and Appalachian Regional Healthcare will meet a third time to try and resolve the ongoing ARH strike.

Union officials hosted a public forum in Bell County to answer questions about why they continue to walk the picket lines.

The unions' chief negotiator was at the meeting.

“We didn't have a choice ladies and gentlemen. we got pushed out!” Pat Tanner said.

Pat Tanner, lead negotiator for the Kentucky and West Virginia nurses associations, explained her frustration with ARH officials to a few dozen people at the Middlesboro Public Library.

“There are certain rules of engagement in negotiations, and quite frankly they haven't followed any of them,” Tanner said.

The lead negotiator for ARH denies that claim.

“We always listen with a great deal of respect to what the nurses have to say,” Dan Fitzpatrick said.

Those who spoke up at the public forum expressed support for the union.

“I can appreciate the concern that's expressed in the community and I want to assure everyone that ARH is doing everything we can to make sure that we maintain quality,” Fitzpatrick said

All parties say their biggest concern is patient care. ARH officials say the union hasn't been specific about what they want. Tanner says ARH isn't listening.

“Find the philosophy and position and posture that we have enjoyed with this company over the past 30 years, which has mutual respect,” Tanner said.

“If the nurses were to provide us with a comprehensive proposal tomorrow, we would be prepared to sit with them tomorrow,” Fitzpatrick said.

Right now the next official date for new talks is October 29th.

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