WV/KY Healthcare

SEIU District 1199’s West Virginia and Kentucky Healthcare division represents nearly 7,000 workers. These fields include hospitals, nursing homes, community action agencies, clinics, councils on aging, Head Start, mental health, and blood services including the Red Cross.

Healthcare Heroes in Eastern Kentucky

A Review From a Member: Free College Degree Program for Union Members

The Letter Carriers Free College Benefit | Letter Carriers Free College Benefit
“Being a Union member can allow you to take chances you never thought you would have the opportunity to take. It was a real benefit to be able to take these classes. I would encourage my co-workers and fellow members to take these classes and engage in studies that interest them.” – Krystin Berry, Healthcare Worker and Member of SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Krystin Berry, a member of SEIU District 1199, recently completed a Degree in Criminal Justice with Eastern Gateway Community College. She wanted to share her story to encourage other members to take this opportunity. This free benefit is open to members with SEIU District 1199 and their families.

“This criminal justice program allowed me to show my daughter that you can work, go to school, and be a good mom,” said Berry. She also has a bachelor’s degree and works far above full-time hours in important areas, including at a nursing home, as a substitute teacher, and with her church. “I learned a lot while taking these classes. You get to know the other students and interact throughout the program. The classes had about 20-25 students and the instructors were helpful with feedback on the course work.”

Currently, Krystin is also working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic as nursing home worker, though they have not had any residents contract COVID19 at her facility so far. “The classes were free of cost, which allowed me to pursue a degree in the area of criminal justice while still working. It was easy to enroll in the program – the most difficult part was transferring in prior coursework but I was able to get those credits recognized. The program was a great way to earn a degree to further myself and this also benefits my daughter,” she said.

Congratulations to Krystin Berry and thank you for sharing your story. Members can get additional details on college programs at this link.

Healthcare Heroes at Cabell Huntington Hospital

Solidarity Newsletter — December 2020

Solidarity News December 2020Member News and Grievance Victories
● Member With ResCare in Lake County Granted Missing Pay. A member who worked for ResCare in Lake County took clients on outings. ResCare increased the pay for this work but the member was unaware of the change and did not receive proper payment. After working with the Union, the member was issued the pay that was owed.

● Northeast Ohio Hospital Member Issued Settlement. A hospital member was terminated and believed that the circumstances around the dismissal were unjust. The member and Union maintained that the termination was for improper reasons, including due to ethnicity. While employment without a Union is “at-will,” with a Union contract and through the grievance process, the member accepted a $10,000 settlement.

● Seniority for West Virginia Hospital Member Recognized After Grievance. A member with Weirton Medical Center in West Virginia, had worked for the hospital for 11 years and later returned to full-time employment there in 2019 after working elsewhere for several years. The member did not receive some benefits that were commensurate with their seniority. Working with co-workers and the Union, the member filed a grievance. As an outcome of the grievance, the member will receive PTO time at a higher rate dating back to the date the grievance was filed and will receive a higher pension match.

● ResCare Member in West Virginia Reinstated. A member with ResCare was terminated due to an unsubstantiated accusation. Through the grievance process the member was able to challenge the termination. As a result, the member was reinstated after the grievance proceeded to arbitration and it was found that the contract and due process were violated.

● Hospital Member in Youngstown Area Issued Pay After Contract Violation. A technical worker at a hospital in Ohio was sent home regularly due to low census at the start of the COVID19 pandemic. The member was singled out for being sent home due to low census and also hours in violation of the contract. The member worked with her delegate and co-worker and the hospital agreed to an $840 settlement.

SEIU District 1199 Member Benefits
Membership with SEIU District 1199 includes membership with three member benefit programs. Those programs include Union Plus, SEIU Member Benefits, and the SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH membership card. Members and eligible family members can now take classes with Eastern Gateway Community College at no-cost online. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new program with Central State University in Dayton. If you are not a member, you can sign a membership card online. 

Member Resource Center Update

The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

“Harper Mills Union Employees Hold Vigil to Voice Concerns About Negotiations.”

Cabell Huntington Hospital Negotiations Update

Workers Stand Together at Harper Mills

Union Members With Harper Mills in Beckley to Hold Candlelight Vigil

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Frontline workers have been bravely providing care and services for nursing home residents at Harper Mills amid the COVID19 pandemic. In labor negotiations, Stonerise Healthcare, has been advancing proposals that would eliminate a retirement benefit and strip dietary workers of their Union membership. 

Staff Contact: Carol Walters at (740) 709-9004
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 18th

BECKLEY, West Virginia – Members of SEIU District 1199 with Harper Mills, a long-term care facility, in Beckley, will hold a candlelight vigil from 4PM to 5PM on Thursday, November 19th. Workers at the outdoor vigil will wear masks and practice protocols for COVID19. The vigil will be held at the corner of Heartland Drive and Dry Hill Road.

Union members at the facility are deeply concerned about concessions being proposed by management that could damage employee retention, strip union representation, and remove a retirement benefit. These proposals come while workers with Harper Mills have been working heroically.

“We are in the middle of a devastating pandemic and these dedicated workers should be able to look ahead to better days,” said Carol Walters, West Virginia Director with SEIU District 1199. “It’s more than symbolic – the dedicated workers at Harper Mills deserve better than to lose their retirement match in a pandemic.”

Stonerise Healthcare, which owns Harper Mills, has requested in labor negotiations that workers agree to give up their current 401K retirement match of 2%. Management has only proposed a $0.10/HR raise despite their dedicated and frontline work at the facility.

Management with Stonerise Healthcare is also requesting that some workers at the facility lose membership with SEIU District 1199. In 2019, a member who had worked at the facility for over 20 years was improperly terminated, an independent legal review concluded. By the time a finding was reached, Stonerise Healthcare had outsourced the worker’s position, which prevented her from being able return to the job she cared about. Workers now say that management has proposed taking away union representation from members in the same department.

“Taking away Union representation, ending the retirement match, and a $0.10 cent raise. This isn’t the way to thank the workers that do this important work,” continued Carol Walters. “The people in this area been very supportive of the workers at Harper Mills. These proposals aren’t about quality care and may increase turnover. These workers have been brave and deserve better,” concluded Walters. 

Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital Overwhelmingly Reject Proposal From Hospital Executives and Urge Additional Negotiations – Bargaining Committee Will Evaluate Next Steps, Consider Sending a Strike Notice

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The nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital say that the hospital system has an obligation to further address hospital staffing, in addition to damaging changes in health benefits that imposed exorbitant costs on area workers and their families.


Staff Contact: Joyce Gibson at (304) 654-0824
For Immediate Release: November 14, 2020

HUNTINGTON, West Virginia – After nine months of negotiations, hospital executives last week gave the Union nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital a “final offer” that did not do enough to address health insurance costs or safe hospital staffing. The nurses voted to form a Union in November 2019 because of concerns about hospital staffing and dramatic health insurance costs that were imposed on hospital workers after the formation of the Mountain Health Network and the hospital’s acquisition of St. Mary’s Medical Center.

“From staffing to employee retention, the nurses of Cabell Huntington Hospital care tremendously about the hospital and patient care,” said Joyce Gibson, Secretary-Treasurer with SEIU District 1199. “The nurses have made their voices heard and they won’t walk away from these negotiations without a contract that further protects patient care and ensures that workers and families across this city have access to affordably priced health insurance,” continued Gibson.

St. Mary’s Medical Center was acquired in 2018 in a $165M transaction. This year, amid the COVID19 pandemic and layoffs at the hospital, the Cabell Huntington Hospital system through St. Mary’s Medical Center acquired the Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG) for over $10M. The nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have served bravely in the current pandemic and remain steadfast and dedicated to reaching a fair and equitable contract agreement.

SEIU District 1199 has represented workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital for over 40 years. In the largest victory since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state, nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in November 2019. Technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in February 2020.

Cabell Huntington Hospital Workers to Vote on Contract Proposal From Hospital Executives

Staff Contact: Joyce Gibson at (877) 419-7348
For Immediate Release
: Thursday, November 12th

HUNTINGTON, West Virginia – Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital will be voting on Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th on a contract proposal made by hospital executives. Safe hospital staffing and health insurance rates have been significant issues in labor negotiations. The nurses have been given a “last best and final offer.”

The vote will conclude at 9PM on Saturday, November 14th. The details of the proposed agreement are confidential pending a vote of the membership. Union members with Cabell Huntington Hospital will be available for comment after the vote has concluded.

Veterans Day 2020 – We Honor and Thank You

We Honor Your Service and Sacrifice

SEIU District 1199 is proud to represent many Union members who have served our nation. This year for Veterans Day, we would like to share photos to honor those with military service backgrounds. 

As you may know, the Union started a Veterans Caucus last year and members can sign up online. If you send us photos from your military service, we would like to spotlight and honor member veterans on social media. 

Send any service related photos to be shared online on Veterans Day by sending them to media@seiu1199.org. Together, we thank you and honor your service and sacrifice. 

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams  President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Nursing Home Protective Equipment Crisis

PPE For Healthcare Workers

 PPE Now

 

Take Action – Nursing Home Workers Need Safe Staffing, PPE & Fair Wages

Take Action Today Nursing Home 

 

Cabell Huntington Hospital Nurses Vote Yes in Strike Empowerment Vote

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Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital held a strike empowerment vote that concluded tonight at 9PM. The nurses voted overwhelmingly to authorize the bargaining committee to issue a 10-day strike notice, if needed. The nurses are calling on hospital executives to negotiate a fair and equitable contract in good faith.

Staff Contact: Joyce Gibson at (304) 654-0824
For Immediate Release: Saturday, October 31st

HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA – Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have  overwhelmingly voting to empower their bargaining committee to issue a 10-day strike notice, if needed. The nurses have been voting over the last two days at the Double Tree Hotel in Huntington after negotiating with hospital executives over the last nine months for a contract that protects quality care and restores health care benefits.

“As nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital, we have again spoken resoundingly and this vote shows that hospital executives must resolve issues around staffing and benefits,” said Erin Johnson, a labor and delivery nurse. “As nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital we are working every day in this pandemic to provide the best possible health care services on behalf of the region. However, cuts in employee benefits have been damaging not only for the 1,000 nurses in the bargaining unit and our families but also for workforce retention at the hospital,” Erin Johnson concluded.

Negotiations with Cabell Huntington Hospital executives will continue this week on Monday, November 2nd. Nurses with the hospital say that staffing at the hospital must improve to protect quality care and that changes in the workplace and benefits have been driving quality nurses away from the hospital.

Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have been bravely working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. In the last year, Cabell Huntington Hospital received over $70M in funding under the CARES Act. St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is a part of the Mountain Health Network, also spent over $10M to acquire the Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG) in the middle of the pandemic.

“Safe staffing saves lives,” said Joyce Gibson, Secretary-Treasurer with SEIU District 1199. “These are frontline heroes who are working to provide the best care possible every day in this pandemic,” continued Gibson. “These healthcare workers deserve to have affordable health care restored and be able to provide for their families and their future. They have taken a vote to empower their bargaining committee to send a 10-day strike notice, if needed. This is a vote by the nurses to demand that hospital executives hear their voices on staffing ratios and affordable healthcare benefits,” concluded Gibson. 

SEIU District 1199 has represented workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital for over 40 years. In the largest victory since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state, nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in November 2019. Technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in February 2020.

CHH Nurse Union Strike Empowerment Vote

Cabell Huntington Hospital Nurses Holding Strike Empowerment Vote

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Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital are holding a strike empowerment vote and continue to call on hospital executives to negotiate in good faith.

Staff Contact: Joyce Gibson at (304) 654-0824.
For Immediate Release: Friday, October 30th.

HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA – Today, on Friday, October 30th and tomorrow on Saturday, October 31st, nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital are holding a strike empowerment vote at the Double Tree Hotel in Huntington. Nurses with the hospital have been negotiating with hospital executives over the last nine months for a fair and equitable contract that protects quality care.

“Having a Union has allowed us to have a voice for ourselves and our patients in the area of patient care. We have over 1,000 nurses represented within our bargaining unit and nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital are united for quality care on behalf of the communities we serve,” said Derek Bradley, a critical care nurse in the ICU unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital. 

Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have been bravely working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. In the last year, Cabell Huntington Hospital received over $70M in funding under the CARES Act. St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is a part of the Mountain Health Network, also spent over $10M to acquire the Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG) in the middle of this pandemic.

“Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have always been heroes in our community and they continue to speak out for good jobs and quality care,” said Joyce Gibson, Secretary Treasurer with SEIU District 1199. “These nurses need increased staffing ratios to protect quality care at the hospital, especially for critical patient care units. Since Mountain Health took over, nurses have also been leaving the hospital system due extreme health care cost and concessionary changes in workplace benefits,” continued Gibson.

Nurses at the hospital have been forced to pay dramatic increases in health insurance costs. Additionally, hospital negotiators want the nurses to assume additional costs in the area of short-term disability benefits, and to reduce their sick leave benefits when they need it the most due to being quarantined for COVID19 exposure. Hospital staffing also remains a critical point of contention in negotiations.

“These nurses are taking a vote to empower their negotiating committee to authorize a 10 day strike notice, if needed. They continue to call on hospital leaders to improve staffing ratios and stop the benefit cuts that are our hurting our families,” concluded Gibson. 

SEIU District 1199 has represented workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital for over 40 years. In the largest victory since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state, nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in November 2019. Technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in February 2020.

2020 Union Scholarship Winners

Kentucky
Vernal Wiley, Highlands ARH

West Virginia
Stephanie Fiber, child of Tina Fiber, Northern Panhandle Head Start

Andrew Leist, child of Sarah Parks, Cabell Huntington Hospital
Jake Meek, child of Retha Meek, American Red Cross – Huntington
Shauntina Reed, child of Priscilla Reed, Rescare – West Virginia

Ohio
Tiera Cross, Lutheran Hospital

Andrew Curry, child of Kim Moore, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Valerie Dranchak, child of Christa Dranchak, Greene County Public Library
Amanda Frerking, child of Mary Frerking, Stark County District Library
Christina Fulton, Zepf Center
Stephanie Furino, Cuyahoga County Public Library
Marc Judy, child of Lisa Judy, Steward – Trumbull Regional Medical Center
Ariel McLain, child of Erica McLain, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Keith Nelson, child of Tasha Nelson, Rescue Mental Health
Tamhra Phelps, Mercy Lorain – RNs
Cara Potocki, child of Therese Potocki, Frontline Services
James Snowden, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Gage Thompson, child of Kristina Thompson, OS – Department of Developmental Disabilities
Rachel Witten, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Trisade Zimmerman, child of Dwayne Henson, OS – Ohio Veterans Home

Nursing Home staffing and PPE Shortages Continue, New Data Shows. Nursing Home Workers Express Alarm as COVID19 Cases Surge in Ohio and Nationwide

A new analysis of CMS data by AARP and the Ohio University Scripps Gerontology Center shows that many nursing home facilities lack needed PPE. Concurrently, projections and modeling data show that COVID19 transmission may dramatically increase this fall and winter. 

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 19th, 2020
Media Contact: Anthony Caldwell (330) 651-2042

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Nationwide, 84,000 residents and nursing home workers have died as COVID19 has spread across the country, data shows. Nursing home workers have acted bravely by caring for nursing home residents and continuing their work, even in difficult conditions.

In Ohio, this crisis has reached nursing home facilities across the state, with some outbreaks occurring at severe levels. “Nursing home and other workers go to work each day, where they often wear protective equipment and the pandemic is a constant concern. Nursing home workers often work long hours and earn low-wages. Nursing home staffing has always been a concern but at many facilities, staffing levels have further deteriorated. Transmission of COVID19 has been highly prevalent within nursing home facilities,” said Anthony Caldwell, Director of Public Affairs for SEIU District 1199.

New analysis of data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services by AARP shows that 34.6% of Ohio nursing homes in the 4 week period ending on 9/20/20 had a shortage of workers. Additionally, 33.9% of nursing homes in Ohio did not have a one week supply of all critical personal protective equipment items needed during that same period.

Nursing home workers now have one of the most dangerous jobs in America, stated a recent report in the Washington Post. “These workers were not cared for before this pandemic and this is a deepening crisis. Policymakers at all levels of government, long-term care corporations, and nursing home operators, must work together to ensure access to personal protective equipment and that there is safe staffing for nursing home residents,” concluded Caldwell. 

SEIU District 1199, a healthcare and social service union, represents thousands of nursing home workers across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

View the AARP COVID19 Nursing Home Dashboard.