Highlands Regional Medical Center Workers Overwhelmingly Reject Latest Proposal By Hospital Executives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Joyce Gibson, jgibson@seiu1199.org, 304-654-0824

Anthony Caldwell, acaldwell@seiu1199.org, 330-651-2042

Workers call for fair wages, affordable healthcare and respect on the job. 

Prestonsburg, KY – Workers at Highlands Regional Medical Center, members of SEIU District 1199, have overwhelmingly rejected the latest contract proposal by hospital executives. Concerned for the quality care and services to patients; workers have made the decision not to present the employer with a 10-day notice of their intent to strike, however, they have reserved the right to do as at any point in the future should talks between workers and management break down.

Workers will join faith, labor and community leaders for a candlelight vigil in front of the Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 8:30PM.

Executives at Highland’s have gone on a wasteful spending spree at the expense of workers. Despite the continuous decline in revenue at Highlands Regional Medical Center, expenses have increased by $3.3 million between 2012 and 2013 including tripling spending on conferences, conventions, and meetings and thousands more on travel according to financial documents provided by the hospital. Now that reckless spending has spiraled out-of-control, hospital executives are attempting to force workers to pay as much $20,000 out-of-pocket for out-of-network services and force employees to choose between no spousal coverage or pay an astronomical amount to retain coverage for their husbands and wives.

All this while Highland’s CEO Harold Warman’s total compensation jumped by $10,000, a record-breaking salary for a Highlands executive even in the best of times. Workers are demanding improvement on issues such as wages and health care benefits, urging respect and fairness in labor negotiations from administration.

SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH represents more than 200 full-time and part-time medical center staff members at Highlands Regional Medical Center.

 

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