Fairmont General Hospital representatives, employees and SEIU District 1199 union leadership agreed to a new labor contract Friday that includes more than $3 million in wages and benefits.
The details of the agreement are private between FGH and the union, according to a news release from the union. The contract enabled workers to make significant improvements to non-economic provisions of their collective bargaining agreement that will improve service delivery and help to recognize employees for their time of service to the hospital, the release said.
"Two of the issues that were on the table went to the very heart of the employer-employee relationship: wages and benefits. From the way that the union and the employees dealt with these issues, and others, during negotiations, it was evident to the Hospital and to me that they were completely committed to doing what was necessary to make sure that the Hospital continues to provide excellent healthcare and is viable in both the short and long term," Kevin Carr of Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC said in a news release from FGH.
FGH representatives will seek approval of the new collective bargaining agreement by bankruptcy court. If approved, the new collective bargaining agreement will expire on October 31, 2016.
Fairmont General Hospital (FGH) and the SEIU union are negotiating a new contract.
Bargaining began last Tuesday and will continue Wednesday night and Thursday.
Contracts are re-negotiated every three years and this one comes right after FGH filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
SEIU said both sides are cooperating and making sacrifices.
"We are committed to continuing to work through those issues. We believe that we can reach a fair and equitable contract that gets us where we need to be, not only for SEIU members who we represent, but the hospital as well and be able to serve you in the community as we have in the past," said Joyce Gibson, of SEIU1199.
SEIU said pension and healthcare are the two biggest concerns. Members said the community can help by supporting FGH through the tough times.
FGH released a statement Wednesday in connection with the negotiations:
"Fairmont General Hospital representative, Hospital employees, and SEIU1199 union leadership have been working extremely hard and cooperatively in their ongoing contract negotiations in order to assure that the hospital continues to provide high quality health care services to our community and to explore all necessary steps to maintain the long-term viability of the hospital. While these negotiations are ongoing and there remains crucial issues that the parties need to address, the hospital appreciates the commitment of its employees and the local union leadership and the cooperative spirit in which the parties have approached this negotiation process."