WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is urging leadership and workers at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo to negotiate the best agreement for workers, patients and the community. In response to reports that the current stalemate could lead to a possible strike by nurses, technical and support staff at St. Vincent, Brown wrote today to CEO Bob Baxter, urging the hospital to come back to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith. 

Brown plans to introduce legislation next week that would create minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios to help ensure nurses have the support they need to provide the best care for patients. 

“Having met with the different sides during many negotiations between employers and workers during my time in office, I recognize that it is a tense, often frustrating process. I urge you to come back to the table and work in good faith with St. Vincent Medical Center employees to come to an agreement that best serves workers, patients and the community,” Brown wrote. 

“Nurses, technical staff, and support staff are essential to your ability to fulfill your mission. They are compassionate and skilled professionals who work long hours doing all-too-often thankless, but critical work. They are the face and the heart of the Mercy Health system, often working behind the scenes to provide comfort and care to patients and families who rely on your hospital during some of their most difficult times. And they are fierce advocates for the patients who depend on Bon Secours Mercy Health member hospitals to deliver the highest standard of care.” 

Brown’s letter can be found here and below.

May 1, 2019

Mr. Bob Baxter, Chief Executive Officer & Members of the Board

St. Vincent Medical Center, Mercy Health – Toledo

2213 Cherry Street

Toledo, Ohio 43608 

President Baxter and Members of the Board: 

As the largest hospital system in Ohio and one of the state’s biggest employers, Mercy Health and its hospitals, including St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, serve as anchor institutions in communities across our state. With the help of your employees, Bon Secours Mercy Health has made an important impact in increasing access to care for Ohioans and in combatting the addiction crisis. We are grateful for your leadership and partnership, and my office and I look forward to continued work with you and your team to serve the healthcare needs of Ohioans. 

As Bon Secours Mercy Health continues to increase its presence both nationally and internationally – including your recent announcement regarding your intent to merge with Ireland-based Bon Secours health system – it’s critical you continue to support and empower employees in your home state of Ohio to best serve patients. 

As such, I join many in the community in their concern over ongoing contract negotiations related to Mercy Health – Toledo’s St. Vincent Medical Center. 

Having met with the different sides during many negotiations between employers and workers during my time in office, I recognize that it is a tense, often frustrating process. I urge you to come back to the table and work in good faith with St. Vincent Medical Center employees to come to an agreement that best serves workers, patients and the community.

Nurses, technical staff, and support staff are essential to your ability to fulfill your mission. They are compassionate and skilled professionals who work long hours doing all-too-often thankless, but critical work. They are the face and the heart of the Mercy Health system, often working behind the scenes to provide comfort and care to patients and families who rely on your hospital during some of their most difficult times. And they are fierce advocates for the patients who depend on Bon Secours Mercy Health member hospitals to deliver the highest standard of care.

I hope the current impasse can end and that all sides will engage in good-faith negotiations to prevent a strike. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there is an appropriate way that my office can be helpful as you go forward.

Respectfully,

Sherrod Brown

United States Senator

cc: John M. Starcher, Jr., President and CEO Bon Secours Mercy Health System 

 

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