HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Cabell Huntington Hospital announced Saturday evening that federally mediated negotiations will resume with the SEIU 1199 service workers union Monday.
The hospital said it received notice from the federal mediator that the union is ready to come back to the negotiating table.
The main sticking point appears to be whether striking workers should pay for part of their health insurance coverage.
The union, which represents about 1,100 x-ray and lab technicians along with housekeeping workers, went on strike Wednesday after rejecting the hospital’s latest contract.
“CHH has bargained in good faith with SEIU District 1199 Service Unit since August, to reach a fair contract with a generous package of benefits. This is the next step toward achieving a new contract since the 2016 -2021 contract expired at midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 2. CHH’s new contract offer to SEIU was rejected, and a strike commenced at noon on Wed., Nov. 3,” the hospital said in Saturday’s statement from Molly Frick, CHH human resources director. “All clinical areas and the emergency department are accessible and ready to care for patients.”
Union members rallied outside the hospital Friday and made claims that conditions had deteriorated inside the hospital saying the hospital had not been properly cleaned, security protocols are being ignored, regular vital checks have been delayed, and procedures have been delayed or canceled.
The hospital seemed to counter those claims in Saturday’s statement from Frick.
“CHH is committed to providing our patients and community with quality healthcare 24 hours a day, every day. We would like to thank those community members who are respecting the quiet zone around the hospital and supporting patients’ healing process.
“We especially thank our dedicated caregivers and support staff who are providing outstanding care. While we respect our service employees’ right to engage in a strike, we welcome any members of the Service unit who wish to come to work to do so. Striking staff who wish to return to work can contact their supervisor, human resources or go to a designated entrance and advise that they’re here to work.”