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TCCH health care workers take their case to board


Click to see more photos at OPEIU 8’s Facebook page.

UPDATE (Jan. 30, 2015) — News coverage in the Tri-City Herald — Tri-Cities Community Health employees picket, may strike — About 150 Tri-Cities Community Health employees have been working under an expired contract since fall 2013, and they may strike after months of negotiations have failed to yield a new agreement. Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 8 represents the workers, ranging from medical and dental assistants to medical records clerks, hygienists, receptionists and mental health therapists. At a meeting in December, members voted to authorize strike preparation.

The following is from Office and Professional Employees Local 8:

PASCO (Jan. 28, 2015) — Beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29, employees of Tri-Cities Community Health Center and community supporters will gather at 715 W. Court St. in Pasco to again attempt to talk to the TCCH Board of Directors, which is scheduled to meet there at 6 p.m. The 150 medical and dental assistants, hygienists, medical records clerks, receptionists, mental health therapists, and other classifications represented by OPEIU Local 8 have been working without a contract since October 2013. Last month workers rejected the employer’s latest contract offer and voted by 90% to authorize strike preparation.

opeiu8The event coincides with the monthly TCCH Board of Directors meeting. The TCCH Board has refused all requests from employees to hear about their attempts to reach an amicable agreement so that all possible resources can be directed towards providing quality patient care. Last month a small delegation of workers attempted to deliver a letter to the board signed by more than 100 employees, but were pushed out and told to leave.

During previous contract negotiations, employees agreed to a 3% wage cut and other financial reductions to help the community clinic through a financial shortfall. Now, the employer wants to increase the amount employees pay for medical care and has refused to reinstate the 3% cut to the current wage scale, among other takeaways.

The parties will resume negotiations again on Feb. 12.

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