Brooks’ employees plan to picket Thursday

Employees of Brooks Memorial Hospital delivered a 10-day notice of picket to management at Brooks Hospital this week. Members are planning to picket the facility from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday to protest the lack of a new labor contract.

Contract talks began in early March, but have made little progress even with the help of a federal mediator. The 1199 Service Employees International Union Bargaining Committee, made up of Brooks Memorial Hospital workers, says that the hospital, now affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is intentionally stalling negotiations by putting forth contract proposals that they know are unacceptable to the workers.

“We aren’t asking for much,” said Rosie Calph, a medical records clerk at Brooks Memorial Hospital for over 26 years, “just a fair wage for an honest day’s work and the hope that the hospital does the right thing for our community.”

Brooks has been embroiled in financial turmoil over the last 16 months. Besides running a deficit, the hospital also has been loaning funds to the TLC Hospital, which it once partnered with, in Irving. That facility has received new life in the form of a federal $6.5 million grant.