West Virginia hospital temporarily postpones some elective surgeries ahead of possible strike

Cabell Huntington (W.Va.) Hospital is temporarily postponing some elective surgeries ahead of a potential strike at the hospital by service and maintenance workers, the hospital confirmed to Becker's.

Hospital spokesperson Kathy Cosco said Nov. 1 that the move is a temporary step, and Cabell Huntington will re-evaluate the circumstances and work with patients to reschedule surgeries as quickly as possible. 

The move comes as the union contract is scheduled to expire at midnight Nov. 2. In October, the bargaining unit of Service Employees International Union District 1199 announced that about 1,000 workers at the hospital plan to strike Nov. 3 unless an agreement with hospital management is reached.

A news release from SEIU District 1199 said its members at the hospital have been in negotiations for months seeking quality care, safe staffing, adequate wages and health insurance coverage.

The union contends the hospital has the financial means to provide a fair and equitable contract amid construction of a new $51 million office complex.

In a statement to NBC affiliate WSAZ, Molly Frick, director of human resources at the hospital, said Cabell Huntington continues to negotiate the contract with the goal of reaching an agreement.

SEIU District 1199 members voted Oct. 20 to send a 10-day strike notice to hospital management.

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