Stagnant contract negotiation at La Clinica - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Stagnant contract negotiation at La Clinica

Posted: Updated:

PASCO, Wash -- The newly rebranded Tri-Cities Community Health Center La Clinica is having undergoing contract negotiations with Union Leaders and management.  Their last contract expired in March of last year and since February they have been trying to come up with something for both sides.

CEO Carl Walters II says, "we are in active, good faith negotiations with the Union.  We want to provide ALL our employees equal benefits while protecting the viability of the health center."  He says the $7.4 million dollar federal grant given to the center for expansion projects is not money up for negotiations because it is federal.

Walters says the delay does fall on the Union whom he says he was trying to go into negotiations with much earlier than January, when they finally agreed to begin.

Employees are upset saying they are facing pay cuts, and are at the mercy of their supervisors with no more grievances.  They says employees of 20 some years are going to be losing their pensions if they don't reach negotiations.  Overall they say this affects patient care.

Damian Kent a Union Representative with OPEIU, Local 8 says, "We're here to alert the community, not only the way the employees are disrespected, the way that they're treated.  You know we as the employees and members of the community believe that to provide the best patient care you should be able to attract hardworking, loyal staff and then treat them accordingly."