Strike a pose: It seems a strike is in the eye of the beholder.
While a union organizer called the one-day planned event outside Enloe Medical Center a “phenomenal success,” the hospital’s spokesperson characterized it as disruptive and discouraging.
Dana Simon, lead negotiator for Service Employees International Union, said most of the 120 employees in the hospital’s dietary and housekeeping departments joined the strike Sept. 2, and that subcontractor Compass had a hard time finding replacement workers willing to cross the picket line.
He called the event respectful, unamplified and “one of the most milquetoast actions I’ve ever been involved in.” Even so, Enloe called police after hearing complaints from patients in the obstetrics and surgical wards near which the strikers had been ordered to locate. “It was a setup,” Simon asserted.
Enloe spokeperson Ann Prater said the strike is “not an Enloe story,” but even so staff was “saddened” that the picketers intruded on patients and visitors. “As soon as the union would see the police they would quiet down,” Prater said.
In a statement, Compass representatives said the company is negotiating in good faith and, besides paying two-thirds of health premiums, has offered raises of 3.7 percent a year for three years, while the union insists on 15 percent.
Super-duper supe? Chico’s school board thinks it has a great find.
The Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees was negotiating a contract with a potential new superintendent Sept. 7, after the News & Review’s deadline.
“[The candidate] is a phenomenal match for Chico,” said Rick Anderson, president of the board. “I was never worried. All we needed was one right applicant.”
The board, along with a nine-member advisory council, interviewed five candidates, inviting two to Chico, and one quickly rose to the top. The finalist visited Chico two weekends ago, and Trustees Anthony Watts and Jann Reed flew to the man’s home district on Sept. 6.
The smart money says the district will likely pay the new supe at least 40 grand more than the $131,187 a year outgoing Superintendent Scott Brown was making.
Got a spare room? Chico Mayor Scott Gruendl is coordinating the local effort to find housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Working with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and HUD, Gruendl is asking that anyone able to donate residential space, especially vacant homes or apartments, contact him by e-mail at email@example.com. Include a description of the property, whether it is shared or furnished and how long it will be made available. To learn more, call 896-7250 or visit www.openmyhome.org.
CARD games: CARD ousted its general manager Sept. 6 in a closed-door meeting.
Mary Cahill was fired from the Chico Area Recreation District “without cause,” according to a press release from CARD attorney Jeff Carter.
Steve Visconti, park division superintendent, will serve as interim CARD manager. The search for a new general manager will wait awhile, the press release stated.
Cahill could not be reached for comment by press time.
Cahill, who was hired in 2001 from the 155,000-person Sunrise Recreation and Park District in the Sacramento area, will get severance pay equal to one year’s pay and benefits, totaling about $100,000.