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Union rejects Maui Health System's latest contract as workers continue to strike

Maui Memorial Medical Center

Union employees at Maui Health System hospitals have rejected its latest three-year contract offer.

Workers at Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanaʻi Community Hospital have been on strike since Feb. 22. Participants include nurses aides, respiratory therapists, housekeepers, cooks and more.

"We're upset and disappointed. This is an administration that’s supposed to be taking care of their employees in which they said that they care for our community and our staff — and they're not. They're really not," said Leonard Rodrigues Jr., a general maintenance worker on strike.

The United Public Workers is bargaining with Maui Health System, which is owned by the state and managed by Kaiser Permanente.

This is the first time contracts are being renewed since Kaiser took over management in 2016.

Rodrigues Jr. said employees have not received wage increases in years — yet the hospital has the funds to hire traveling doctors.

"We are the community that needs to be taken care of so we can take care of more of our community and to go that far as to hire outside workers to take our jobs. It's not right," Rodrigues Jr. said.

Read the full statement below:

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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