County Strike

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

Winnebago County leaders and union reps are back at the bargaining table. Little progress is reported but striking county workers got an emotional lift Thursday when some visitors showed up at the picket line.

Hugs and tears on the picket line outside River Bluff Nursing Home. Family members of River Bluff residents came out to support striking county workers.

"We want the county to make them a reasonable offer so they can make a living wage to raise their families while caring for ours," says Patti McGaw.

Certified nursing assistants have been picking for a week now and temporary workers have been called in to care for residents.

"The temps need to go and they need to work 24 hours around the clock until a settlement is reached," McGaw adds.

While primary physical needs are being met these people are concerned about their loved ones, husbands, father, and mothers on the inside. They say they're suffering emotionally.

"You can't get a temporary person in here and expect them to take care of anything more than the physical. And health care has to do much more with the emotional than it does with the physical," says Jim Kragness.

County board members will vote to authorize the use of temporary workers at river bluff tonight. If that proposal doesn't pass, the state could be forced to temporarily close

The county has been paying out of state temps since the strike started at a cost of $90,000 a week. River Bluff Nursing Home administrator Phyllis Schwebke did not return our calls about family members' concerns. We'll have the latest on negotiations on the update at 10.


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