Dozens of 1199SEIU members at Amboy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Perth Amboy, NJ, took to the picket line on Wednesday, August 31 in a powerful showing of determination to win a fair contract that improves the quality of jobs at the facility.
After working under an expired agreement for over a year, caregivers at the nursing home say that it’s well past time for management to invest in better jobs for their workforce. Sharries Mosley, a dietary aide who is studying to become a nurse, explained why she joined with her co-workers at Wednesday’s action: “I don’t have health insurance and I’m $3000 in debt after having to pay out of pocket for a hospital visit in February. Between paying for physicals, eye exams, and keeping up with my tuition for school, the $11.22 I earn just isn’t enough.”
Piercina Dauphin, a certified nursing assistant with 12 years of service, echoed Sharries’ concerns about the need for a living wage. “A raise would help a lot to feed my family and save up for my kids’ education,” she says. “Sometimes I have to call up family or friends to borrow money. We all work very hard and should be able to support ourselves.”
“We deserve to do more than just barely manage,” said Drew Welch, a housekeeper. “We need jobs that let us live comfortably, not just get by. That’s why we are united and are fighting until we win our contract.”