1199SEIU Nursing Home Workers Have Ratified Contract With Livingston Hills Nursing HomeOctober 12, 2018
Livingston, NY: Nursing home workers at Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, members of the powerful healthcare workers union, 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, overwhelmingly ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, after several months of dispute with management.
The workers say their biggest victory was maintaining the Greater NY Benefit Fund health insurance, which provides comprehensive medicial benefits at little or no cost to 1199 members. These benefits, previously paid for by the employer, were a point of contention in negotiations, until the workers held an animated picket on September 19, protesting management’s refusal to even consider bargaining the issue.
Donna Decker, a 29-year veteran C.N.A. at the home who participated in the picket said, “When we returned to the bargaining table after the picket, we were relieved to find out that management heard and understood our concern about the connection between affordable health benefits and recruiting and retaining staff. The funds* were back on the bargaining table that day.”
The contract also includes a guaranteed across the board wage increase of 2% or higher, depending upon the minimum rate of the employee’s job classification. Furthermore, the workers received a bonus of 1% of their annual salary for the period December 2017 through August 2018, which was recently paid in a separate check after ratification.
“This contract is a win-win,” said C.N.A., Emily Ford. “A legally-binding contract with a decent wage increase, and affordable health benefits is an excellent job opportunity. It will attract caregivers, and stabilize the workforce, which is critical” she said. “Good staffing is the key to quality care and in the end, that is what is best for the residents.“
The 1199SEIU bargaining unit includes 66 full-time and part-time workers; LPNs, C.N.A.s, recreation aides and dietary, housekeeping and maintenance workers, all essential for the delivery of care and comfort to the nursing home’s residents.
This contract is effective as of September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019.
*The benefits are provided through a joint labor/management fund, the 1199SEIU Greater NY Benefit Fund and Greater NY Pension Fund.