Nursing home workers from the state’s three largest chains voted Monday to file unfair labor practice notices to strike over the companies’ failure to provide agency staffing and cost information and unfair trade practices.
SEIU Healthcare PA, the union that represents healthcare workers across Pennsylvania, posted a press release on its website earlier Monday. By law, nursing home administrators must receive 10 days’ notice before a nursing home strike begins.
Guardian Healthcare and the two chains owned by Mordi Lahaski — Comprehensive Healthcare and Priority Healthcare — also declined to hold meaningful negotiations over the use of agency staff or to include regulatory staffing ratios in their contracts, which are set to take effect this year, the release said.
The union says its workers are being offered lower wages than last year, despite nursing homes receiving $600 million in investment funding from the state budget. The money, much of which is recurring, is taxpayer dollars and provides accountability to ensure 70% goes to staff and bed care, the union said.
“We have agency workers almost every week at our nursing home and they get paid two to three times more and we even have to train them,” Donna Pronio, a certified nursing assistant in northeastern Pennsylvania, said in the release. “They also don’t have connections and connections with the residents like we do, so the residents are suffering. The money spent on the agency could — and should — be spent on hiring permanent staff and investing in those of us who have been here for years.”
To improve staffing and care, workers demand through trade union negotiations:
- Substantial pay increases for all existing employees to keep them at the bedside, and minimum wages for all positions:
- $16 per hour for dietary, housekeeping and other support staff.
- $20/hour for Certified Nursing Assistants.
- $25/hour for licensed practical nurses.
- Additional raises to recognize longevity and seniority to retain experienced caregivers and honor their years of service.
- Employer-paid health insurance.
- Protection of an existing contract in the event of a sale (“Continuity Language”).
- Make sure employers comply with new state regulations governing nursing home staffing.
- A written commitment not to interfere in any way with the rights of workers who have decided to form their own union, to demand accountability from private investment companies and nursing home chains with bad acts.
If an agreement is not reached, the release said, strikes will begin on September 2 at the following nursing homes:
Comprehensive medical care
The Grove in Irvine: 249 Maus Dr. Irwin, PA 15642
The Grove in New Castle: 715 Harbor St. New Castle, PA 16101
The Grove at Harmony: 191 Evergreen Mill Rd. Harmony, PA 16037
The Grove in Washington: 1198 W Wylie Ave. Washington, PA 15301
Beaver Valley Health & Rehabilitation: 257 Georgetown Rd Beaver Falls, PA 15010
Clarion Health & Rehab: 999 Heidrick St Clarion, PA 16214
Meyersdale Health & Rehabilitation: 201 Dr. Meyersdale Hospital, PA 15552
Oil City Health & Rehabilitation: 1293 Grandview Rd Oil City, PA 16301
Riverside Rehab and Hospice: 500 St Taylor Hospital, PA 18517
Titusville Health & Rehabilitation: 81 W Dillon Dr Titusville, PA 16354
Uniontown Healthcare & Rehab: 129 Franklin Ave Uniontown, PA 15401
Nanticoke Senior Care Caregiver: 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
Health care priority
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 and Rehabilitation Center of Lancaster: 425 N Duke St #4905 Lancaster, PA 17602
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The Meadows at York Terrace: 2401 W Market St Pottsville, PA 17901
Fairlane Gardens Nursing & Rehab at Reading: 21 Fairlane Rd Reading, PA 19606
Wyoming Valley Gardens (Top): 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