Strikers settle contract at 13 Pennsylvania nursing homes

Hundreds of striking nurses paused picketing on Friday as their union reached a tentative contract agreement with 13 of 14 nursing homes across Pennsylvania.

After reaching agreement with Comprehensive Healthcare on Thursday, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania announced Friday that bargainers had come to terms with a second operator, Priority Healthcare.

Contract details were not released pending ratification votes.

A total of about 700 unionized workers at 14 nursing homes statewide went on strike Sept. 2 in a dispute over pay, benefits and staffing levels.

Striking workers at independently owned Shenandoah Heights nursing home in Schuylkill County have yet to settle their contract.

The union has staked a claim on hundreds of millions of dollars in new state and federal funding for nursing homes. A trade group representing for-profit nursing homes has noted that the newly increased Medicaid reimbursements do not kick in until January, and the other aid has not yet been distributed.

Nursing homes have long struggled with staff turnover, which has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.