A nursing home company locked out 100 workers on Tuesday, Dec. 13 after frustrations arose from failed progress in negotiations, reports the Hartford Courant.
In response, the workers picketed the site, but the nursing home company, HealthBridge Management, said on Wednesday that it had filed a complaint with the federal agency that enforces labor laws as the “union is breaking a law that bars strikes of picketing at health care facilities without ten days prior notice,” the Courant reports.
HealthBridge has been in negotiations with the workers’ union for ten months and still has not reached a contract agreement, leaving hundreds of the company’s employees at its five other locations also in jeopardy of being locked out.
The nursing home company is acting within its rights, according to an industry representative.
“We urge the union and the employer to stay at the bargaining table, but based on what has been reported, the facts suggest the union may have to make a major overture to the operator as a first step toward this end,” said Matthew V. Barrett, executive vice president of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, in the article.
Part of what’s holding up a contract is cost-sharing of health insurance, according to the union, as the company has proposed that unionized employees begin paying $7,300 a year for family coverage, whereas right now they pay nothing, says the Courant.
However, according to Lisa Crutchfield, the senior vice president of labor relations for HealthBridge, the company doesn’t know what’s stopping negotiations as the union has “failed to come up with significant or meaningful counter-proposals to the contract offers we gave them on Oct. 27.”
Read the full Hartford Courant article here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace