Kenmore Nursing Home Workers Vote To Ratify 17-Month Union Contract Following Informational Picket Last Year

January 3, 2024

1199SEIU Logo 1@3x.pngPress Release: January 3, 2024
Contact: April Ezzell, (716) 449-1620
1199SEIU Communications

Kenmore, NY – More than 75 nursing home workers at Kenmore’s Schofield Residence voted to ratify a 17-month contract with their employer yesterday.  The new labor deal comes as we see an increase in worker unrest across the country[1] and an uptick in workers voting to join labor unions[2].  Nursing home workers are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare union in the country.  

Nursing home workers held an informational picket outside the facility in Kenmore last November[3],[4] in demand for a fair contract.  Caregivers were 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 this week union workers secured more from their employer. 

Employees won major gains, despite many of Upstate New York’s Nursing homes being underfunded due to a low Medicaid Reimbursement Rate[5] from the State[6].

"I'm proud of what we won after our picket and am ready to fight at the legislature for better funding this year so we can win what we really deserve in our next contract,” said Michael Bearfield,” 20-year Maintenance Worker at the Kenmore facility. 

The new 17-month contract includes wage increases ranging from 4.54% to 24% based on years of experience, increased employer contributions towards pension, dental, and optical plans, extended bereavement window up to one-year, expanded paid time off (PTO) and elimination of unpopular work rules including a previously strict dress code. Caregivers will continue to have union recognition and security in addition to labor management meetings. Labor Management meetings give workers more of a voice on the job and how the facility runs.  

The new gains workers secured in this new labor contract will help to reduce Schofield’s reliance on agency staff.  Starting rate increases for Certified Nurse Assistants (C.N.A.) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) are now more competitive with the area standards. In addition, the contract also provides for increased shift differential for LPNs.  The substantial increase in starting pay, healthcare benefits, optical, dental, pension, and holidays will attract more permanent workers to care for residents.  Agency workers often do not receive any benefits.

In addition, Kenmore nursing home workers also won Juneteenth as a paid holiday

The new 1199SEIU contract covers Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Nurse Aide Trainees, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapist Assistants, Housekeepers, Laundry Workers, Dietary Aides, Hospitality Aides, Environmental Services Aides, and Maintenance Workers at Schofield Residence. 

The 17-month contract expires April 30, 2025, bringing it more in line with the New York State’s budget cycle.  


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] Spotlighting apparent trend of health care industry strikes (
[2] Elmwood Taco & Subs workers vote to form a union (
[3] 2023 Schofield Residence Info Picket 11292023
[4] Kenmore nursing home workers back to bargaining table next month | News 4 Buffalo (
[5] Nursing Home Owner Calls for Urgent Reforms to Address New York State Medicaid Reimbursement Crisis (
[6] SEIU, Hospital Lobby Ready Clout With NY Medicaid Fight Looming (