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Gundersen workers have sidewalk demonstration for more investment in staff

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Several hospital employees in La Crosse say they’re not getting paid enough for the important work they do, while the medical center makes millions.

Just over a dozen people gathered along South Avenue near Gundersen Health System on Tuesday, calling for higher pay for healthcare workers.

The demonstrators argue that, although Gundersen has agreed to a $15 minimum wage, workers making more would only be offered a 1 percent raise per year.

Lance Helgeson, a dietary aide at Gundersen, wants higher wages for hospital employees who have been working hard throughout the pandemic.

Helgeson is upset that a shortage of workers has led Gundersen to close its cafeteria on weekends, which may force visitors to buy food from vending machines, instead of getting meals at the hospital.

Organizers of the event at Little Houska Park brought cookies and cider for Gundersen workers attending.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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