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Cabell Huntington Hospital Says It Plans To Return To Bargaining Table Next Week

Reported by: Send eMail Dave Benton
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: The Associated Press
Reported: Nov. 4, 2013 5:26 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 5, 2013 8:41 AM EST

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Cabell Huntington Dispute
Eyewitness News Photo

Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia

800 workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital plan to hit the picket line soon. They've rejected a proposed contract from the hospital.

Union leaders hand delivered a 10 day strike notice to the CEO of the hospital Monday afternoon. Union workers say if the company doesn't give them a reasonable contract, they won't think twice about going on strike.

Kevin Simpkins is a union worker and says, "The employer was trying to make cuts to our health care, well it isn't good for my son, we are on the family plan which means we'll pay more and more."

Yvonne Brooks is a 29 year employee at the hospital and says, "I know all the hospital administrators get raises like 18, 19 and 20 percent increases in one year. These folks here in the union only got 6% raise for three years and now they want to say we're getting zero, zero and zero."

Hospital spokesperson Charles Shumaker said in a press release: "Today, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) received a 10-day strike notice from SEIU 1199, the union representing 800 licensed practical nurses, lab workers, and service and maintenance personnel at CHH. CHH will return to the bargaining table to resume negotiations next week with optimism that a fair and equitable resolution will be reached.

We have been transparent throughout the negotiation process and have presented offers that allow our current full- and part-time employees to continue to receive a generous benefits package and health insurance. We recognize that our employees are our most valuable resource and we are proud to offer a complete range of benefits at a time when many in our industry must reduce benefits for staff. In fact, total compensation (the combination of salaries and benefits) provided to all current and future staff will continue to remain higher than those at all other healthcare providers in West Virginia. The few benefit changes necessary would only apply to future, not current, employees and will enable us to prepare for the upcoming costs associated with the Affordable Care Act. We must plan for the future now so we can continue to provide the high-quality health care services our community expects and deserves.

The safety and quality care of our patients are our main concerns, so in the unlikely event of a work stoppage we have plans in place that ensure that business will continue as usual at Cabell Huntington Hospital.



Cabell Huntington Hospital said Monday that it will return to the bargaining table next week in hopes that “a fair and equitable resolution will be reached” with 800 workers who plan to go on strike Nov. 14 unless an agreement can be made.

The hospital said in a news release that it received a 10-day strike notice from SEIU 1199, the union representing 800 licensed practical nurses, lab workers, and service and maintenance personnel at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

The union said it rejected a proposed contract because retirees would have lost their health insurance under the proposal. Current workers would have had to pay higher deductibles, co-pays and prescription costs. The union said the proposal also didn't include any wage increases.

Meanwhile, Cabell Huntington spokesman Charles Shumaker has said hospital officials believe the proposal was fair and generous

In a news release issued Monday, the hospital said it has been transparent throughout the negotiation process and have presented offers that allow our current full- and part-time employees to continue to receive a generous benefits package and health insurance.

“We recognize that our employees are our most valuable resource and we are proud to offer a complete range of benefits at a time when many in our industry must reduce benefits for staff. In fact, total compensation (the combination of salaries and benefits) provided to all current and future staff will continue to remain higher than those at all other health care providers in West Virginia,” a statement from the hospital said.

The hospital said the few benefit changes necessary “would only apply to future, not current, employees and will enable us to prepare for the upcoming costs associated with the Affordable Care Act. We must plan for the future now so we can continue to provide the high-quality health care services our community expects and deserves.”

Cabell Huntington said the safety and quality care of our patients were its main concerns “so in the unlikely event of a work stoppage we have plans in place that ensure that business will continue as usual at Cabell Huntington Hospital.”

The AP contributed to this story.



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