Absolut Care Nursing Home Workers Reach 2-Year Tentative Agreement Canceling Strikes at 4 Rural Nursing Homes in Allegany, East Aurora, Orchard Park, and Westfield

June 13, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 13, 2024
Contact: April.Ezzell@1199.org, 1199SEIU Communications (716) 449-1620

Buffalo, NY – 300 rural nursing home workers at 4 Absolut Care facilities in Allegany, East Aurora, Orchard Park, and Westfield, reached a 2-year Tentative Agreement late yesterday now cancelling unfair labor practice strikes, previously set to begin this week. Nursing home workers are represented by 1199SEIU, the largest healthcare workers union in the country. 

Negotiations stalled when the employer unilaterally implemented their last best and final offer, leaving rural nursing home workers below the area standard for wages and benefits.  

Details of the agreement will be made public if ratified by union members.  Ratification votes are scheduled for next week. 

“A strike is always a last resort for our members,” said Grace Bogdanove, 1199SEIU Vice-President for WNY Nursing Homes.  “It is incredibly disappointing that Absolut Care/RCA management engaged in bad-faith bargaining and union busting throughout contract talks, but 1199SEIU members stood united in their fight for fair wages. While we still have more work to do to bring these workers’ wage and benefit standards up to where they need to be, we were able to reach a fair agreement hours before our strike was scheduled to begin,” said Bogdanove. 

“This tentative agreement provides for much-needed wage increases and other contractual improvements for these rural workers and is a first step towards the equity that they deserve. Workers are grateful for the support they received from their residents and their families, community members, the labor movement, elected officials, and more. Nursing home workers provide critical care to our elderly residents in their local community, and we hope that Absolut Care/RCA is finally beginning to understand that the care economy depends on workers who show up day in and day out,” said Bogdanove.  

Nursing Home workers at the four rural care facilities work as Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Home Health Aides, Patient Care Assistants, Medical Techs, Housekeepers, Cooks, and Dietary Workers. 

If ratified by union members, the new 2-year Tentative Agreement will run through April 30, 2026.   

Caregivers at Absolut Care of Allegany, Absolut Care of Aurora Park, Orchard Brooke Assisted Living Center, and Absolut Care of Westfield (dba as RCA Servicer at Allegany, LLC, RCA Servicer at Aurora Park, LLC, RCA Servicer at Orchard Brooke, LLC, and RCA Servicer, LLC at Westfield) have been bargaining for a fair contract with their employer since early February. The previous labor contract expired April 30. 

The for-profit facilities are owned and operated by members of the Living Legends Health Network which includes: Absolut Care, McGuire Group, Taconic Health Care, and VestraCare.  Living Legends Health Network group is managed by Long Island native, Edward Farbenblum[1]

However, locally McGuire Group management including Regional Vice-President Scott West, CEO Susan Grigg, RN, and Chief Human Resources Officer Colleen O’Connell-Jancevski, Esq bargained the agreement with local caregivers. 

 Three of the four facilities are currently undergoing a change in ownership through New York State Department of Health (project 201264, 201263, and 201267).  The for-profit residential health care facilities will be owned by Michael Farbenblum, Menachem Tauber, and Mordechai Mendlowitz once the application for the change is approved by New York State Department of Health. 


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] Nursing home tycoon’s son invests in troubled Bishop Rehab Center. A move to skirt scrutiny? - syracuse.com