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Rio Grande Regional Hospital negotiating pay, benefits for employees

Rio Grande Regional Hospital workers are also looking to negotiate higher wages with hospital management. Action4 spoke to those who said it TMs not only the pay, they're also fighting to keep their healthcare benefits.

Hospital employees with the labor union SEIU TEXAS said they truly enjoy the work they do,, but some are struggling to make ends meet and are forced to live paycheck to paycheck.

Nelva Cordova is certified surgical tech at Rio Grande Regional Hospital, she has worked there for the last 20 years.

I like assisting the surgeons in procedures, I love labor and delivery because you see new life being born everyday. It TMs usually pretty uplifting, it does get a little stressful sometimes, but it TMs actually very rewarding," said Cordova with a smile.

Cordova loves her job, but said the pay doesn't measure up to be enough to cover expenses. Some of her colleagues have already left for higher paying jobs.

The hospital nets $39M a year last year, and were only asking for 1%. I don TMt feel it TMs very much we're asking for, and I just would like them to be comparable to other hospitals," said Cordova.

Cordova is a single mom and said every little bit counts.

In order to save for a rainy day- for an emergency, and when you're living pay check to paycheck it TMs very hard," she explained.

It TMs why Elsa Caballero, the President of SEIU TEXAS labor union, said its important they negotiate livable wages and guaranteed healthcare for their members. Caballero said in the scheme of things, the employees are not asking for a lot.

It TMs really a drop in the bucket, but it makes such a huge huge difference in the ability of workers to make decisions in the day to day for themselves and their children," said Caballero.

Action4 News also reached to Rio Grande Regional Hospital. Their spokeswoman, Adriana Morales, said the hospital did not make a profit of $39M last year and that figure is grossly overstated. She adds that the hospital has proposed that all employees will be offered the same healthcare benefits whether or not they are represented by a union.

For the past several months, we have been engaged in contract negotiations with the SEIU. We have bargained in good faith, and we look forward to continuing our discussions," reads the statement the Rio Grande Regional Hospital released to Action4 News.

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