Contract talks to continue for union workers at WVU Hospitals

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Negotiations between West Virginia University Hospitals and the union representing more than 900 of its workers are scheduled to resume in the New Year.

Earlier this week, members of the Laborer’s Union Local 814 overwhelmingly rejected the latest contract offer from WVUH with a 601-59 vote.

However, John Grossklaus, Local 814 business manager, told MetroNews Affiliate WAJR-AM in Morgantown that rejection does not mean there will be a strike.

“We’re going to work on an extension with the hospital,” and Grossklaus said that extension on the current three-year contract will give both sides more time to talk.  “Currently, we are negotiating the terms of that extension.”

Grossklaus said there are several problems with the latest contract offer.  “There’s a lot of issues,” he said.  “Staffing’s one of them.”  In addition to staffing, he said the union is not satisfied with a proposal to eliminate health insurance for union members who work 20 hours a week starting in 2015.

WAJR reports negotiations are scheduled to pick up again on Jan. 6.

Hospital officials have said they are willing to continue to work on a contract agreement.

The current contract has been extended until Jan. 31, 2014.

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