Morgantown, WV (NursingSalary.org) – Danny King, President of West Virginia University Hospitals, announced on Tuesday that the Union’s approximately 870 members plan to go on strike on December 31, when the contract expires. The quality levels of patient assistance, said Union President Bruce McClymonds, won’t be affected by the strike, since enough doctors, registered nurses and other health care providers will be there to take care of the patients.
West Virginia University Hospitals is an assembly of five medical facilities scattered throughout the state: the Ruby Memorial Hospital, the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center, the WVU Children’s Hospital, the Chestnut Ridge Center and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.
During the yesterday’s morning meeting with the management, local union members gave WVU Hospitals a notice of intent to go on strike within the next 10 days. President Danny King said his hospitals were unwilling to compromise and rejected the union’s proposal on a concession on retirement contribution.
“I liked the offer,” said King, “but it wasn’t good enough.”
King had already offered the Union another retribution scheme in a meeting last week, but it was rejected. The new proposal involved raising the employees’ wages, but also insuring their health insurance premiums and charging a new fee for employees who had just been enrolled with any of WVU’s hospitals. The Union argued that the increased health insurance rates are based on bogus projections and rough estimates rather than facts and actual costs.
McClymonds insisted that his members weren’t asking for huge increases in wages and other benefits.
“We’re just asking for a small raise and to keep what we have,” he said. “We would love to work out a deal.”
King considers his company’s proposal as being “fair and generous,” taking into account the current economic crisis, the shortages in skilled personnel and the financial challenges imposed by the healthcare reform. He can hardly offer anything better, but he sincerely hopes that the Union will reconsider their decision to go on strike and are willing to continue negotiations to agree on the way the existing funds can be distributed.
Members of the Union have a wide range of jobs in the WVU Hospitals. Their services range from linen services and housekeeping to delivering anesthesia, sterilizing instruments or doing some primary accounting jobs.