HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Wednesday marks a week since approximately 900 workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital went on strike and it doesn’t appear the two sides are any to settling the labor dispute.
Under the guidance of a federal mediator, Cabell Huntington has presented a counter offer to the bargaining unit of SEIU 1199.
“Our negotiation team is following the recommendations and guidance of the federal mediator,” Molly Frick, director of Human Resources, said in a statement released Tuesday. “To maintain the integrity of the negation process, we will not be discussing the terms of any proposals.”
The union is speaking out about the counter offer calling it “even worse than their last, best, and final offer delivered last week.”
A update on the union’s Facebook page criticized Cabell Huntington officials for not meeting with them face-to-face.
“Hospital executives refused to even leave their hotel suite, cowering behind closed doors, afraid to face their workers and tell them just how much they are willing to take from the people who keep this community safe and healthy,” the union said.
Frick told the Huntington Herald Dispatch the union has mischaracterized the negotiations.
At the heart of the dispute is an attempt by Cabell Huntington to have the union technicians and housekeeper workers to pay a part of their health insurance costs like other workers at the hospital do.
SEIU 1199 Organizing Director Sherri McKinney said the union is always ready to come back to the table.
“We have been out here 24/7, for almost a week now, and we have seen exactly how much this hospital relies on its staff to do work far and beyond their normal duties to keep this place operating smoothly and safely,” McKinney said in the statement posted on Facebook.