WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — Striking union members at Windham Hospital in Willimantic held a rally on day two of their 48-hour strike.
Technical and service employees with AFT Local 5099 have been working for nearly a year without a new contract. Negotiations with Hartford HealthCare are deadlocked over wages, overtime, and healthcare benefits.
“Why working for Hartford HealthCare should we even be questioning how good or bad our insurance is? We should have the best damn insurance out there,” Heather Howlett, Local 5099’s president said at Tuesday’s rally.
“We have seen time and time again how Hartford HealthCare continues to put their profits for this supposedly non-profit organization before people,” State Sen. Mae Flexer (D-Windham) said.
Donna Handley, the president of Windham Hospital, issued a statement Monday, saying the hospital has offered a contract that is “fair, equitable, and market-competitive.”
The union, however, said the offer was for very small raises over the four years of the contract. The hospital then took retroactive pay off the table when the contract was voted down.
Last month, the nurses’ strike was about what the union called unfair labor practices. They have been without a contract for close to a year now, and at the time, Handley told News 8 that she offered a contract that would boost the wages of most nurses by 30% over the next four years.