DAY OF COMMUNITY ACTION: Elected Officials, Community Activists and Labor Allies Will Join Picketing Caregivers At Cold Springs Hills Nursing Home On WednesdayAugust 8, 2023
WHEN: Wednesday, August 9, 12:30-2 p.m.
WHERE: Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, 378 Syosset-Woodbury Rd, Woodbury
WHO: County and state elected officials, labor union leaders and community members will join the picket line to support nursing home workers, members of 1199SEIU, who work as certified nursing assistants, nurses, housekeepers, dietary aides, recreation aides, and other titles.
Background: 443 caregivers at Cold Springs Hills Nursing Home began an 11-day picket last Friday, August 4. Theywill be cut off from their health insurance on August 25 unless management makes their contractually agreed to payments into the workers’ health benefit fund. The loss of healthcare would spell disaster for workers and their families at a time New York is already facing a severe caregiver shortage. The employer received numerous warnings of this looming issue but has refused to act.
If the current management at Cold Spring Hills is unwilling to honor its commitments to employees, New York State must urgently step in to find a new operator who will preserve job standards at the facility and safeguard continuity of care for residents.
"We can't live without our [healthcare] insurance. I'm a diabetic and breast cancer patient and I gotta do checkups regularly to make sure I'm okay. I have to see a doctor and hematologist so that I can stay well. What am I gonna do after August 25th if I don't have health insurance? I don't know if I would survive without it." - Blossom Thomas, Unit Clerk, working at Cold Spring Hills 23 years, been Unit Clerk for 8 years.
"I'm a single mom raising two kids on my own and they are my support. What more can I give them than the support that comes with having good healthcare? My duty as a nurse is to my residents and I respect them, and I live every day for them and my family. My family needs MORE health insurance and we need it now. To know that I have good health insurance like 1199 and it's being compromised because by facility is bad." - Sharlene Thampi, RN, have been working at Cold Spring Hills for 9 years
"I feel bad especially for the nurses because they're overworked, I could cry for them sometimes. We don't have enough staff and now they want to take our benefits away. It's not a good look, especially after how we worked through the pandemic, and they thank us like this? It's not right at all. I hope we get a new owner. We want someone who wants to do right by the residents and for the members, that's what we're here for. We're not here to bash anyone, if they don't want to do the right thing, please go. Torray Coppedge - Housekeeping Aide, working at Cold Spring Hills for 16 years
"I'm retiring in hopefully 6 months, but I'm leaving [the facility] very sad. I remember back in 1984 this facility was like a family, to our residents and to each other. It felt like a home and now and it doesn’t feel that way. Our nurses they struggle every day with not enough staff. We know the capability of Cold Spring Hills, we just want it to be the best it can be. We work so hard and they're taking our benefits away. We're not looking for more, we're looking for what we deserve. If you're coming in as an owner, you're taking on the responsibility to treat your employees with honor and respect, that's all we want." -Michelle Byrne, Physical Therapist Asst. (1199 Delegate), working at Cold Spring Hills for almost 39 years.
AT A GLANCE
• Workers at Cold Spring Hills are poised to lose their healthcare benefits on August 25 after management failed, for months, to make the required payments to the workers’ health benefit fund. 1199SEIU is calling on NYS to urgently use its power to appoint a temporary receiver to safeguard resident care and protect workers’ jobs and health care.
• Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Cold Spring Hills in December of last year, alleging that the owners “diverted over $22.6 million in Medicaid and Medicare funds from resident care through a fraudulent network of companies that were used to conceal up-front profit taking.”
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in New York and nationwide. We represent over 450,000 total members throughout New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and Washington, D.C. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.