Members of United Healthcare Workers East use lunch hour to picket Canton-Potsdam Hospital
POTSDAM – Picketers from 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East marched at lunch hour Wednesday around Canton-Potsdam Hospital.Union member Mandy Simmons of Winthrop, a worker in patient accounting at the hospital, explained that the informational picket was to bring attention to their disagreement over contract terms with hospital management.
“Most senior people would take a big cut in their benefit time and a wage freeze” under terms the hospital is proposing, according to Simmons.
1199SEIU represents about 250 employees at the hospital, such as licensed practical nurses, medical technicians and technologists under one contract and service, maintenance and clerical workers under another contract.
The union says both contracts were to expire March 31, but were extended to June 30 in hopes an agreement would be reached by then.
“we’re the people who are here 24/7,” said Simmons. “We train new employees and carry a lot of the weight, and it doesn’t really show that we’re appreciated very much. It’s a slap in the face.”