Saturday, July 19, 2003

Home-care nurses strike over hours, paperwork

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND - Members of a union representing 120 nurses who provide home health care went on strike to press for shorter hours and less paperwork.

Nurses struck Thursday against the nonprofit Visiting Nurse Association, which provides home health care to the elderly in northeast and central Ohio. The agency serves about 700 clients a day.

Nurses voted by a 90 percent margin to reject the agency's latest pay offer.

Betty Winn, the Ohio Nurses Association bargaining unit co-chairwoman, said the group requested a 10-hour reduction in the amount of paperwork that each nurse must complete each week. VNA offered a four-hour reduction.

"We are offering the fairest approach to the issue of documentation," said Diane Gallagher, a VNA spokeswoman. "We continue to look at ... issues of importance."

The VNA has offered a 3.5 percent raise for next year. The average nurse at VNA makes between $50,000 and $60,000 per year, Conway said.

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