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Strike over at Community Health; no new talks scheduled

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Aug. 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
August 12, 2011 4:14 pm

A two-day strike by health care workers at Community Health Care has ended with no immediate resolution of the issues that brought on the strike.

No new talks are yet scheduled between the health provider for low-income families and workers represented by the Service Employees International Union.

Both sides, however, said they look forward to scheduling further discussions of a new contract proposal for the 160 represented workers.

Those workers and the health care provider have been without a contract since June 2010.

Workers struck Community Tuesday and Wednesday contending the health care provider was unwilling to discuss Community’s increases in health insurance costs for workers.

Community CEO David Flentge said the key issue in the talks was not health insurance increases but the union’s insistence that any new contract include stepped pay raise increases. Community wants to eliminate those automatic increases.

Flentge said Community is rescheduling appointments for patients whose a doctor visits were canceled Tuesday or Wednesday because of staff shortages at the organization’s five clinics. Community shut down three of five clinics during the two days of the strike.

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