Union workers, Cabell Huntington Hospital to return to bargaining table

West Virginia

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include a response from the SEIU District 1199.

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Cabell Huntington Hospital and the SEIU District 1199 will return to the bargaining table one week from today.

Officials say negotiations will resume Nov. 30, 2021. The news comes shortly after the announcement that the temporary restraining order taken out by Cabell Huntington Hospital against SEIU union workers will remain in effect until a full evidentiary hearing set for 9 a.m. December 10, 2021.

The hospital released the following statement on the upcoming negotiations:

After two weeks of no response to our Nov. 9 contract offer, we are pleased to learn that the SEIU District 1199 is finally ready to return to the bargaining table on Nov. 30. It is our hope that the Union will make a serious offer when we resume negotiations.

All we have asked from the beginning is that members of the Union’s service unit start making a reasonable contribution to their healthcare premiums. For more than 70 years Cabell Huntington Hospital has provided the region’s most generous health care plan for employees and their families and covered 100% of health care premiums. We have asked that service employees contribute, on average, less than 5% of the total cost of providing healthcare for employees’ and their dependents.

The premium rates are affordable, and our service workers earn a good living and are paid at the top of the market, with an average base rate of $21.61 per hour and an average hourly rate of $26.45, including shift differential and various premium pay. It is our sincere hope that the union will begin to bargain in good faith over the hospital’s health care proposal. 

Cabell Huntington Hospital

The SEIU responded to the hospital’s statement saying they hope the hospital’s offer in the upcoming negotiations will be in “good faith” and that officials will do what is best for the union members.

“SEIU District 1199 members and leaders are not surprised by Cabell Huntington Hospital’s announcement today about the Federal Mediator calling for the Union and CHH to come back to the table, November 30. The constant lying about what is in CHH’s last best final offer from November 8 and 9, is negatively affecting people’s lives and livelihood. The false allegation that the Union is not wanting to come in good faith is beyond disingenuous. We have come each time with an abundance of good faith willing to stay until a fair agreement was reached, we cannot say the same for Cabell negotiators.

Why would CHH believe or even make the statement that they have come in ‘good faith’, when they have made an offer far less than what we have already had for decades and bargained for on Nov. 3. Hospital executives and its Board refuse to address the fact they are acting in bad faith with our members on the strike line, now 21 days, and our retirees. To say that they are “Just the Facts” on their hospital website is just more lies and divisive rhetoric.

The hospital’s blatant disregard for the dignity and respect earned by our healthcare heroes shows exactly who and what the CEO and Board Chair Beth Hammers are about. CHH is willing to stick its workers so far in poverty, already from the pandemic, they can’t provide for their families. They are taking away 10 percent of their wages, increasing healthcare costs by 30 percent for PT time employees and 10 percent for the Family Plan, reducing benefits and ending healthcare for all hospital retirees, which they have already done as of November 4.

How does a not-for-profit hospital with executives and Board members receiving tax benefits to provide charity healthcare, justify to themselves that our members paying higher healthcare costs with lower wages is a ‘reasonable contribution to their healthcare premiums’? That is the real issue at hand.

It is our hope that the hospital will do what is just and fair and stop this strike in good faith during this holiday season for the Huntington Community at-large, but after the many false statements to the media and divisive tactics, they need to find another way of conducting business.”

SEIU District 1199

For local and breaking news, weather alerts, video and more, download the FREE WOWK 13 News App from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download the FREE WOWK 13 News App

Washington DC Bureau

More Washington DC Bureau

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories