ARH workers approve new contract

About 2,300 workers at Appalachian Regional Healthcare who are represented by the United Steelworkers approved a new three-year contract this week.

The new contract covers employees ranging from clerical workers and housekeepers to many other occupations who work at the nine hospitals and other facilities operated by ARH in Eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia.

Both the company and the union applauded the deal with the union noting that it achieved gains in wages, and the company stating the agreement allows ARH "the ability to continue to be viable and sustainable in the future," said Dan Fitzpatrick, executive director of human resources and labor relations, in a statement.

"We were able to achieve gains in wages and protections and contract language, and we were able to do it without a work stoppage," said union spokesman Tony Montana.

The workers' previous contract expires March 30 with the new agreement going into effect the next day.