CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS STALLED SINCE 2019, FATIGUED NURSING HOME WORKERS, MEMBERS OF 1199SEIU, TO HOLD INFORMATIONAL PICKET* AT THE GRAND AT PAWLINGNovember 15, 2021
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Mindy Berman, 518-229-0486
Maureen Tomlinson, 518-956-1818
Corporate owners are refusing sufficient wages and health benefits to nursing home workers who are STILL risking their health and safety while caring for the frail and elderly during the worse pandemic in recent history; most have not received a raise since 2018.
When: Monday, November 15.
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Press avail, photos, videos and interviews
Where: The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Pawling, 9 Reservoir Rd, Pawling
Who: 1199SEIU nursing home workers including C.N.A.s, LPNs, recreation aides, housekeeping & dietary workers and more. Community and labor allies and elected officials will be supporting the workers on the picket line.
What: Informational picketing over stalled contract negotiations. The workers have been trying to negotiate a contract with fair wages, affordable benefits and safe working conditions since 2019. Extreme stress due to the pandemic, below-market wages and unaffordable health benefits are critical factors in the nursing home’s inability to retain and recruit staff. Short-staffing is severe. The caregivers are constantly fatigued.
Why: The caregivers have been working without a contract since 2019. During this time, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated already inadequate conditions at the Grand, such as short-staffing and lack of adequate resources. Today, the nursing home is extremely short-staffed; caregivers are working around the clock and the fatigue and stress often mean that qualified healthcare workers leave, making the situation worse.
There is also concern about the lack of continuity of care for residents as the owner increasingly relies on temporary agency staffers to supplement the chronic understaffing of full-time workers. It is well documented that continuity of care and resident/caregiver relationships are the cornerstones of quality resident care and health. It’s a vicious circle when experienced, qualified caregivers quit their jobs due to overwork and stress, leaving the nursing home with the same number of residents (or more), but fewer staff — and inviting burnout.
In contract negotiations for the last year, the Grand has had the opportunity to work with 1199SEIU to resolve this problem. But instead, they have been throwing wrenches into the bargaining process, making proposals they know are unacceptable, thereby stalling a settlement.
1199 members don’t only “work” at the Grand at Pawling. Many live in the community and also have strong relationships with the residents and their families. At the height of the pandemic, these caregivers were the only “family” the residents had.
*An informational picket is NOT a strike. Workers join the line on their own time, such as a break, lunch or day off and no care or services are interrupted.
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 450,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all. 1199seiu.org