Nursing home workers from three of the biggest chains in the state voted Monday to send unfair labor practice strike notices for the companies’ failures to provide information about agency staffing and costs, and for not bargaining in good faith.
SEIU Healthcare PA, a union that represents health care workers across Pennsylvania, posted the news release on its site earlier Monday. By law, nursing home administrators must receive a 10-day notice before a strike at a healthcare facility takes place.
Guardian Healthcare and two chains owned by Mordy Lahasky – Comprehensive Healthcare and Priority Healthcare – also have refused to meaningfully bargain over the use of agency staff or include the regulatory staffing ratios set to go into effect this year in the contracts, the release says.
The union claims that its workers are being offered lower raises than last year despite nursing homes receiving a $600M investment in funding from the state budget. The money, much of it recurring, is taxpayer dollars and comes with accountability to ensure 70% goes to staffing and bedside care, the union says.
“Our nursing home operates on agency staff almost every week, and they are paid two or three times more, and we even have to train them,” Donna Pronio, a certified nursing assistant in northeast Pennsylvania, says in the release. “They also don’t have the bonds and connections with residents like we do, so residents suffer. The money spent on agency could – and should – be spent on hiring full time permanent staff, and investing in those of us who have been here for years.”
To improve staffing and care, workers are demanding through union negotiations:
Substantial increases in wages for all existing employees to retain them at the bedside, and minimum wages in all job titles:
$16/hr for dietary, housekeeping, and other ancillary staff.
$20/hr for Certified Nursing Assistants.
$25/hr for Licensed Practical Nurses.
Additional increases to recognize longevity and seniority to retain experienced caregivers and honor their years of service.
Employer-paid health insurance.
Protection of the existing contract in the event of a sale (“Successorship Language”).
Ensure employers follow new state regulations governing staffing in nursing homes.
A written commitment not to interfere in any way with the rights of workers who choose to form their union to demand accountability from private equity firms and bad-actor nursing home chains.
Unless an agreement is reached, the release says, strikes are set to start Sept. 2 at the following nursing homes:
The Grove at Irwin: 249 Maus Dr. Irwin, PA 15642
The Grove at New Castle: 715 Harbor St. New Castle, PA 16101
The Grove at Harmony: 191 Evergreen Mill Rd. Harmony, PA 16037
The Grove at Washington: 1198 W Wylie Ave. Washington, PA 15301
Beaver Valley Healthcare & Rehab: 257 Georgetown Rd Beaver Falls, PA 15010
Clarion Health & Rehab: 999 Heidrick St Clarion, PA 16214
Meyersdale Healthcare & Rehab: 201 Hospital Dr Meyersdale, PA 15552
Oil City Healthcare & Rehab: 1293 Grandview Rd Oil City, PA 16301
Riverside Rehab & Nursing: 500 Hospital St Taylor, PA 18517
Titusville Healthcare & Rehab: 81 W Dillon Dr Titusville, PA 16354
Uniontown Healthcare & Rehab: 129 Franklin Ave Uniontown, PA 15401
Guardian Elder Care at Nanticoke: 159 Old Newport St #151 Nanticoke, PA 18634
Richland Healthcare & Rehab: 349 Vo Tech Dr Johnstown, PA 15904
Belair Healthcare & Rehab: 100 Little Dr Lower Burrell, PA 15068
The Meadows at Blue Ridge: 10 House Ave Camp Hill, PA 17011
The Meadows at West Shore: 770 Poplar Church Rd Camp, Hill, PA 17011
The Gardens at Easton/Praxis: 500 Washington St. Easton, PA 18042
Rose City Nursing & Rehab at Lancaster: 425 N Duke St #4905 Lancaster, PA 17602
The Meadows at York Terrace: 2401 W Market St Pottsville, PA 17901
Fairlane Gardens Nursing & Rehab at Reading: 21 Fairlane Rd Reading, PA 19606
The Gardens at Wyoming Valley (Summit): 50 N Pennsylvania Ave Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
The Gardens at East Mountain: 101 E Mountain Blvd Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
The Meadows at Stroud: 221 E Brown St. East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Shenandoah Heights Healthcare: 200 Pennsylvania Ave, Shenandoah, PA 17976