Striking health care workers continue benefits battle

THE BRONX - Striking employees of the Kingsbridge Heights Rehabilitation Center say they still haven't been offered an appropriate contract.

The employees have been on strike for three weeks. Union representatives say the fight is over benefits.

Members of SEIU 1199 say the facility's head director, Helen Seiger, was repeatedly late on making contributions to the union's benefit fund. As a result, benefits were cut off to Kingsbridge employees. Union officials are now asking Seiger to pay $2.8 million allegedly owed to them since 2005.

Seiger's attorney, Joel Cohen, says the union must change its payment plan in order to reach any sort of agreement. According to Cohen, the money in question has been inflated with a retroactive increase that Seiger will not pay.

Cohen says Kingsbridge is also being charged for four months of benefits that its employees did not receive. Cohen has expressed that his client will only pay what she rightfully owes.

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