HUDSON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Health care workers at at Columbia Memorial Hospital are holding a picket this afternoon and evening. They say members of their union, COVID caregivers, cannot afford health insurance and receive little respect from their employer.
The demonstrations are happening in two shifts—one from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the next from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.—on Prospect Avenue in front of the emergency room entrance. Their list of grievances include:
- Lack of COVID crisis pay, or hazard pay bonuses
- Offering raises that do not keep up with the cost of living
- Unaffordable health insurance
- Offers of cookies instead of fair compensation
Labor advocates argue that each day that goes by without an agreement worsens staffing issues at the hospital. They say that many former workers decided to commute to other facilities to earn fair compensation and health benefits.
RNs, LPNs, nurse assistants, lab and pharmacy professionals, housekeeping, and dietary workers make up the bulk of the rallying labor force. They say they also have community support from labor, clergy, and elected officials.