Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205 voted Monday to reject Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge’s contract proposal that would cover 800 employees.
The union said the hospital’s proposal would cut wages for new workers, in turn risking staffing levels and quality of care.
The current contract expired in October but was extended through November 15th while negotiators from both sides tried to reach an agreement.
Last week, union members voted to authorize their bargaining committee to give the hospital a notice of intent to strike if an agreement could not be reached. However, despite rejecting the medical center’s proposal, union representatives indicated on Monday that workers still want negotiations to continue.
By law the union must give 10 days notice before striking.