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5 NEWS UPDATE: WVU Healthcare Union Votes Down Contract Offer
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on December 19, 2013 @ 7:36PM
Created on December 19, 2013 @ 7:00PM


5 NEWS UPDATE (12/19/13, 7:00 PM):

On Thursday, representatives from the Laborers' Local 814 said they're working with hospital officials to come up with a compromise.

According to the Union, both sides are hopeful they can agree to an extension of the current contract. If that happens it'll buy both sides more time in terms of being able to sit down at the negotiating table.

John Grossklaus is the Business Manager for Laborers' Local 814. He said, "It stops any talks of a strike or a walk out because we'd basically be working under our old contract. That gives us some time to sit back down at the table."

5 News reached out to WVU Healthcare officials on Thursday for a comment. A hospital spokesperson stated there was no further comment aside from the statement that was released Wednesday evening.

5 NEWS UPDATE (12/18/2013, 11:00 PM):

Wednesday evening, union workers voted 601 to 59 to reject a contract deal offered by WVU Healthcare.

The Laborer's Local 814 says it will likely give the hospital a strike notice some time this week. Once the notice is given, the hospital and the union will have ten days to reach a deal or agree to an extension of the current contract. If neither of these are reached the workers have been authorized to strike, however union workers say they are hopeful it will not resort to that. Representatives from the union claim none of their proposals, which they believe are substantial, were ever considered in the latest deal.

WVU Hospitals released a statement Wednesday night saying, "We are disappointed that the members of Local 814 did not approve the contract offered for voting today. We believe this was a very fair proposal that would continue to place our workers at the highest levels of compensation and benefits compared to other hospitals in the state. WVUH officials have been negotiating with union representatives since October. We are hopeful that in the coming days we can reach an agreement that our union employees will approve. Regardless of the outcome of these negotiations, WVU Hospitals will continue to ensure that our patient's care and safety remain our top priorities."

ORIGINAL STORY (12/18/2013, 7:00 PM):

WVU Healthcare union workers aren't happy with recent contract negotiations.

Hospital representatives and workers have been trying to work on a new deal over the last few months. The Union, Laborers' Local 814 , claims the last offer it received from the hospital on December 10 isn't good enough.

Union members voted on WVU Healthcare's latest offer all day on Wednesday. Prior to the vote the Union emphasized it's a contract they're not in favor of.

That's why employees could be out of work and on the picket line in the future.

The union claims the hospital's proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement was entirely WVU Healthcare's. Representatives from the Union claim none of their proposals, which they believe are substantial, were ever considered in the latest deal.

According to the Union, this was the hospital's last, best, and final offer.

Hospital officials haven't made any official comments yet.

The Union will release a statement following the results of the vote.

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Comments (7)
Dec 20, 2013 at 4:57 PM
Someone needs to set the record straight on the proposal that was voted on. It was going to be devastating to the over 60 years of age employees many of whom are working part time for insurance benefits and to supplement retirement. These hard working people show up day in and day out and are the backbone of that hospital. They were raised with a strong work ethic and are very dependable. This last and final offer from WVUH intended to cut all benefits to these individuals. I find it ironic that WVUH received awards several years in a row for their employment of the older workers yet they are throwing them to the wolves . Also according to all reports WVUH did not act in good faith . They refused to negotiate with the union. Perhaps someone on your end needs to do some investigational journalism into WVUH. They can pay a PR firm $3 million dollars to "improve" their image but cannot give the employees a living wage or any other amenities. I am one of those over 60 year old employees being thrown to the wolves...perhaps I could get a position on your news staff and do real "fair and balanced" reporting.
Dec 19, 2013 at 9:32 PM
all we are asking for is a raise,not a pay cut.they can spend millions to buy every piece of property in town but want us to go backwards? we barely make over minimum wage now.
Dec 19, 2013 at 9:26 PM
and for your information, the union will get no more money from this,and NO WE DO NOT MAKE MORE THAN OTHER AREA HOSPITALS!! the OTHER hospital a couple of blocks over starts out higher than ours.yet ours brags its so great,it treats its employees so good,its number one this and number one that. if that's true then its time it starts acting like it.the employees at this hospital are 3 to 5 dollars an hour below every other 300 plus bed hospital in the entire country.
Dec 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM
the "union" as you put it isn't deamanding more anything,the eployees are demanding to get a pay raise instead of taking a pay cut,if you would care to look at the article you will see the employees voted,660 voted,601 were against taking a pay cut.i just love how in the hospitals response it says the employees are so well compensated,that is a LIE. people at sheetz sart out higher.we work hard and deserve more than a person running a cash register.we take care of peoples lives,not run a register so they can pay for hot dogs and gas. with the increase in health insurance,the benefits they are taking away,and the very small raise they offered,we would be loosing money.the only greedy people involved are hospital management who waste money like theres no tomorrow and make hundreds of thousands a year while we cant even make 15 to 20 thousand and have to get on food stamps to survive.
Dec 19, 2013 at 8:45 PM
Union employees do NOT greedily demand more money...nor are they the result of no company taking a nose dive in the dirt! The fact that the CEO probably takes home the union employees annual salary every pay day...that's disgusting and if that isn't enough to make your blood boil just a little...senior management, middle management and management are paid wayyyyy to much as well. I'm not saying they don't deserve their pay, but it's hard to justify not wanting all employees to reap the benefits (as management does) but expecting them to do the work of FIVE people while simultaneously operating a complaint department and covering the butts of all the decision makers...MAYBE, just MAYBE if the union stands strong and doesn't allow themselves to be bullied...they will get a little bit of what they are asking for. Also, the Hospital isn't going to get the attention and nor sympathy of the public when they want to take away a fair wage and a fair benefits package from the workers while they are taking home probably close to a million dollars per year in salary and benefits...isn't going to happen. Who ever is negotiating for these guys better sit up and pay attention, because the support will be with the Union on this one. And to the Union. Members...remember this... Don't allow them to compare you or your wages and benefits package to OTHER AREA are leaders in the health care industry, that is what sets you apart from the rest of the state and the rest of the nation! Your wages and benefits should be the best around! Remember that! Stand strong! It's not easy, but you can do this! And you have the public support...but STOP TALKING TO THE MEDIA! Let the Hospital do aren't in the damage control business.
Dec 19, 2013 at 4:43 PM
as a member of the Union. It is not fair that we would lose ever three thousand dollars a year plus all holiday benefits if we are part time. I understand that people think that the union is reading but we shouldn't have to take steps backwards we should be rewarded for are many years spent there. I don't want much I just don't want to go backwards. A little res and keep my health benefits is it too much to ask
Dec 19, 2013 at 5:57 AM
Unions just keep 'demanding' more and more until eventually they cause shutdowns of businesses. Then where will the workers be? Keep it up and it will happen! Greedy unions care little about the workers; they only want more for themselves. Even though they make more than any other workers at area hospitals, still, they greedily and stupidly refuse every offer. Doesn't help the workers pay their bills when they have no job to go back to now does it?
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