Purple Power has increased in Buffalo with 1199’s latest victory by nursing home workers at Niagara Lutheran and St. Catherine Health Care Center who have voted to join 1199SEIU. With these organizing victories, every nursing home in the City of Buffalo is an 1199 facility.
“This is a great day for the workers, but more than that it's a great day for healthcare. This now means that the caregivers in the entire city of Buffalo can have a voice in the issues that impact the care we give,” said Lesha Honeycutt, a CNA at St. Catherine’s for four years.
St. Catherine’s was the last long-term care nursing facility in the City of Buffalo without union representation. The organizing campaign began at the end of July and a secret ballot election was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will now elect an employee bargaining committee and leadership and will begin assessing the needs of their co-workers. After surveying is completed, the employee bargaining committee will negotiate their first collective bargaining agreement.
“This will definitely make us stronger. We face a lot of tough issues and situations every day, but we now have taken an important first step to face these issues,” said Brenda Anderson, a 20-year LPN at St. Catherine’s.
“We welcome our new union brothers and sisters,” said Darlene Gates, PCA at Weinberg Campus. “With everything that is going on in the economy, I’m happy these workers now have union protection. You just never know what can happen.”
Meantime, 80 Licensed Practical Nurses at Niagara Lutheran have elected a bargaining committee and have begun distributing contract surveys. If you are an employee at Niagara Lutheran and haven’t filled out a survey please see a member of the bargaining committee. The following employees at Niagara Lutheran make up the elected bargaining committee: Roberta Collins, Lawanna Daniel. Brandyon “Brandy” McDaniel, Cynthia Posey, Anthony Raymond, Danielle Vaden, Ebony Weary, Latangia “Cocoa” Wilson.