Miami Nursing Home Workers Find Perseverance & Unity Is The Key To Winning A Good Contract

June 27, 2024

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It’s an exciting time for nursing home workers at Miami Shores Rehabilitation Center and Hialeah Shores Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. That’s because they recently ratified their new contract. It’s a strong contract that includes wage increases, recognition for years of experience and additional sick time. Juanita Bryant, a longtime employee, says she and her coworkers have waited a long time for this day to come.

“We faced a lot of hurdles to get to this point. Negotiations stalled for a while and some of my coworkers felt discouraged. But we did not give up. As a result, we’re stronger, more unified and we’re proud to have a won a good contract,” said Juanita Bryant, a restorative aide who has worked at Miami Shores for 40 years. 

Negotiations were tense at times between the owner of both facilities and the workers’ union, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare workers union in Florida. But the bargaining team stayed united and strong to ensure they reached a deal that benefited all workers including certified nursing assistants, housekeepers, dietary aides, laundry workers and other staff. 

LTC Miami Shores Contract Ratification Blog Final 2.jpg“My coworkers and I are excited about this contract that’s why so many staff came out in full force to ratify it. It’s a testament of our tenacity and commitment,” explained Ayana Carballo, a certified nursing assistant at Miami Shores. “A good contract gives us the ability to keep doing the job we love – taking care of our residents.”

Good contracts benefit residents too. That’s because higher wages help retain experienced caregivers who know the residents well and can provide the best care possible.

There are a handful of other contracts that have been ratified by nursing home workers recently and dozens more will be negotiated this year. Each one is an opportunity for workers to unite through their union and fight for what they deserve - higher wages. better benefits, safe staffing and respect.

“It’s empowering to be able to stand in solidarity with your coworkers and fight for a good contract. I am grateful to have a union because it gives us a vehicle to work together to achieve our goals,” said Balbina Aguilar, a CNA at Hialeah Shores.