Stat Facts: Members overcome tough negotiations in contract win at ARH

USW members ratified a new three-year contract that covers about 2,200 workers at nine Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) locations in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. It covers USW members who work in a variety of occupations, including clerical, housekeeping, maintenance and dietary, as well as licensed practical nurses, certified nurse aides and some technical employees.

Bargaining began in early February and immediately proved to be the toughest the team had ever seen. But thanks to the solidarity of the members through social media campaigns, text alerts, car window signs, and flyers, the committee held strong even as the expiration deadline quickly approached.

“It was definitely a tough negotiation,” said District 8 Director Billy Thompson, “but the membership stuck together and we were able to maintain the hard-earned health care and security benefits they deserve.”

The agreement also maintained check-off language despite Kentucky and West Virginia being “right-to-work” states.

ARH is a non-profit health system that operates 12 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies and retail pharmacies employing more than 5,000 people. Unrepresented hospitals are located in Hyden, Barbourville, Paintsville and Martin Ky.

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