Catholic Health could cut health insurance for striking workers at Mercy Hospital | Business Local

Sullivan said Catholic Health also is assessing whether to allow workers to cross the picket…

Sullivan said Catholic Health also is assessing whether to allow workers to cross the picket line. To date, Sullivan said Catholic Health has paid “millions” of dollars to Michigan staffing firm Huffmaster, which is providing replacement staff to keep Mercy Hospital operating – albeit operating on a more limited basis. Catholic Health said it has been caring for about 100 patients per day at Mercy, one-third of its typical census. 

As the costs add up for the health system and the employees on strike, Catholic Health and Communications Workers of America Local 1133 continue to negotiate. The union also is incurring major expenses during the strike: CWA is paying $300 a week to about 2,000 striking workers, for a tab of about $600,000 a week. If the strike is still underway Friday, those weekly payments will rise to $400 a week, for an expense of $800,000 a week.

As about 2,000 striking CWA members support their union’s push for a new contract, they are about to receive a financial boost.

In an update to members, CWA said its bargaining team was at the table until 8:30 p.m. Monday after receiving a new package from Catholic Health earlier in the day.

“The proposal does have improvements in it, but we are still not where we need to be,” the update reads.

The union said it continues to remain focused on wages and staffing. Catholic Health said its latest proposal includes a minimum 3% wage increase in the first year, followed by general wage increases of 2% in the second and third years and 2.75% in the fourth year.