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Nurses in WV set to strike Dec. 3

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Registered nurses in seven different Community Health System hospitals will take to the streets for a national day of action with strikes, pickets and other events Dec. 3.

Four different states will participate Tuesday including the Mountain State.

The nurses will protest repeated violations of federal law by the CHS-affiliated hospitals and the failure for executives to address widespread concerns about patient safety and cuts in patient services as well as the nurses' efforts to win economic workplace fairness.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee-West Virginia represents the registered nurses.

Nurses have also raised concerns about reductions of patient services including layoffs and unsafe maintenance problems that led to a sewage leak at the Bluefield Regional Medical center in Bluefield.

"Since the union election, RNs have made some improvements in staffing. However, there is a lot of work to be done, and CHS refuses to respect nurses and bargain with us," said Beverly Hubbard, an RN who works in the Cath Lab at Greenbrier Valley Medical Center. "We will be letting the community know about the patient care conditions at the hospital on Dec. 3. Please join us in our fight to improve patient care at GVMC."

Over the past five years, CHS reported over $1.5 billion in profits to the Securities and Exchange Commission. CHS Wayne Smith piled up $21.5 million in total compensation in 2011, according to the AFL-CIO Executive Pay Watch project. 

The planned events include picketing from 4-6 p.m. at Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Ronceverte and hosting a news conference at 4 p.m. at Bluefield Regional Medical Center.