Nursing Home Workers at Two Rural Facilities To Hold Informational Pickets Next WeekFebruary 3, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: April Ezzell, 1199SEIU Communications, (716)449-1620
Interview Opportunity Via Zoom
Caregivers say lack of competitive wages and short staffing problems will force them to picket this winter
WHO: 1199SEIU Nursing Home
Workers at Personal Healthcare
Facilities in rural WNY
WHAT: Informational Picket
WHEN: Wednesday, February 8, 2023
from 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Press Conference at 3pm
WHERE: Dunkirk Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Dunkirk at 447 Lake Shore Dr, Dunkirk, NY 14048
Eden Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at 2806 George St, Eden, NY 14057
WHY? More than 200 nursing home workers at four rural facilities in Western New York are fighting for a fair contract. Their 3-year contract expired December 31, 2022. Union nursing home workers are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
Caregivers at Salamanca Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Dunkirk Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Eden Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Houghton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center have been bargaining for a fair contract for several months without much progress towards a fair contract. Union workers are demanding competitive wages to recruit and retain staff to provide care for residents. Service workers at the four facilities are earning the area minimum wage which is $14.20.
Workers say lack of staff and supplies are making their jobs more difficult at the for-profit facilities.
“I put in more hours then I call tell you because of short staffing,” said Sondra Lamacchia, LPN and Salamanca Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. I just finished my 3rd double shift this week. If our owner put more money into retaining house staff then people would want to come work in our facilities. They don’t want to because they can go down the road to make more money.
We are the only facilities in our area, why wouldn’t you want to invest in your business to provide for residents,” said Lamacchia.
“It’s like our residents aren’t people anymore, they are commodities,” said Kristyl Rodriguez, Licensed Practical Nurse at Eden Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. “I’m administering lifesaving treatments and lifesaving medications, but am being interrupted to do other jobs because we don’t have enough staff to care for our residents,” said Rodriguez.
At for-profit facilities, related party transactions are more commonplace in [[WNY and across the state. The four nursing homes located in Salamanca, Eden, Houghton and Dunkirk have been managed by one for-profit company, Personal Healthcare Management, LLC since 2018.
According to 2018-2020 New York State Cost Reports, these four nursing homes have done business with related party Personal Healthcare Management, LLC.1 Incoming owners of the four for-profit rural nursing home facilities are listed as Esther Barth, Batia Zagelbaum and Chaya Walden, relatives of Ephraim Zagelbaum, Alexander Barth and Yehudah Walden. According to 2017 NYS Public Health and Health Planning Council, the following individuals are listed as leaders at Personal Healthcare Management LLC: Ephraim Zagelbaum (President/Chief Executive Officer), Alexander Barth (Managing Partner), and Yehudah Walden (Managing Member).
In 2018 related parties, Ephraim Zagelbaum, Alexander Barth and Yehudah Walden purchased the nursing home real estate for the 4 facilities located in Eden, Dunkirk, Houghton, and Salamanca. In 2019, the nursing homes paid more than $2.3 million in rent to related party real estate companies. In 2020, they paid $1.2 million in related party expenses to Personal Healthcare Management, LLC. These nursing homes also paid $757,876 to related real estate companies.2 Nursing home workers at the four facilities work as Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Rehab Aides, Unit helpers, Housekeeping Aides, Laundry Aides, Dietary Cooks, Dietary Aides, Dietary Assistants and Certified Nurse Assistants in Training.
1199SEIU and Personal Healthcare Management are scheduled to return to the bargaining table on February 14th on behalf of the 200 rural nursing home workers.
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. www.1199seiu.org
1 State of New York, Public Health and Health planning Council - Agenda, July 28, 2022, EDRNC Operating, LLC d/b/a Eden Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (Project # 192332-E), HORNC Operating, LLC d/b/a Houghton Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (Project # 192333-E), SARNC Operating, LLC d/b/a Salamanca Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (Project # 192335-E), and DURNC Operating, LLC d/b/a Dunkirk Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (Project # 192336-E), available online at https://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/public_health_and_health_planning_council/meetings/2022-07-28/docs/full_council_agenda.pdf
 New York State Department of Health, Public Health and Health Planning Council, GRNC Operating LLC d/b/a Ghent Rehab, Project 161449 at Individual Background Review, available online at https://health.ny.gov/facilities/public_health_and_health_planning_council/meetings/2017-03-22/docs/exhibits.pdf
2 Source: New York State Department of Health, 2011-2020 RHCF - 4 Cost Reports, Part III - Related Company Financial Data, Personal Healthcare Management, LLC, Statement of Income, and Expense Statement.