Kenmore Nursing Home Workers Picket Over Continuity of Care, Reliance on Agency Workers & Lack of Competitive Wages At One of Western New York’s Last Non-Profit Nursing Homes

November 30, 2023

1199SEIU Logo 1@3x.pngPress Release: Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Contact: April Ezzell, (716) 449-1620
1199SEIU Communications
Video & Photo Content: ​Folder icon 2023 Schofield Residence Info Picket 11292023


Kenmore Nursing Home Workers Picket.jpgSenator Sean Ryan and Assemblymember William Conrad joined workers calling for fair settlement from the employer and adequate Medicaid reimbursements from the state 

Kenmore, NY – Dozens of nursing home workers hit the picket line in Kenmore this afternoon in the wind and cold. Nursing home workers were joined by resident family members, labor organizations, and elected officials.  The two-year contract covering workers at Schofield Residence expired November 17th following one extension from October 30th. The expired labor deal comes as we see an increase in worker unrest across the country and an uptick in workers voting to join labor unions1. Caregivers are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. 

Nursing home workers are fighting for competitive wages to help retain and recruit permanent workers to care for residents. The Kenmore facility relies heavily on agency workers. With the inconsistent nature of agency work, continuity of care for residents may be impacted and today workers demanded more from their employer. 

Elected officials addressed concerns of picketing workers in front of the Kenmore nursing home.  “I’m here to support organized labor and to help you reach a decent settlement for salary and working conditions,” said Assemblymember William Conrad addressing the crowd of workers.  “We need to attract and retain other professionals into the helping professions – it’s essential,” said Conrad. 

"Our residents need regular faces that they are familiar with and comfortable with, so we can get our work done and they can have their peace,” said Samira McClure, Certified Nurse Assistant. 

“We have to make sure that the people in the care economy are cared for by us,” said NYS Senator Sean Ryan. “They care passionately about what they do but we need to make sure they are paid to do it.  We are going to work from the state angle to make sure the {Medicaid} reimbursements make sense. But we also need to work with the nursing home administrators to make sure all the money is not going out the door by paying temps to come in.  Often the temps are paid more money than the people working here day in and day out for 19 years,” said Senator Ryan.   

Caregivers expressed concern over the Kenmore home’s increased use of agency workers and continuity of care for residents. "This is the resident's home,” said Stephanie Ezak, Physical Therapist Assistant.  “They want to see familiar faces and build a connection with their caretakers but Schofield chooses to pay agency workers to come in at a higher cost than to make sure their employees are paid fairly for their work. I could go someplace that will pay me more money - what is deserved but I choose to stay at Schofield because it is a nice place to work and I'm here to care for the residents,” said Ezak.  

“We make decisions from the heart in healthcare because we love what we do,” said Cathy Wills, Physical Therapy Assistant. “We also need to be rewarded for our caring hearts. Some of us have led with our hearts and have taken significant pay cuts to make changes in job locations because we love what we do and believe in our hearts we make a difference," said Wills.

1199SEIU represents Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Physical Therapy Assistants, Housekeepers, Laundry Workers, Dietary Aides, Environmental Services Aides, and Maintenance Workers at Schofield Residence. 

Both sides are set to return to the bargaining table on Thursday, December 7th.  

Press Conference Speakers:

Xavier Eddy, 1199SEIU Administrative Organizer
Samira McClure, Certified Nurse Assistant
Abraham Mooney, Certified Nurse Assistant
Patsy Rice, Laundry Aide 
New York State Senator Sean Ryan


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 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.



[1] Elmwood Taco & Subs workers vote to form a union (