Rehabilitation Workers at Two Absolut Care Nursing Homes Overwhelmingly Ratify 2-Year Contract Averting Weeklong StrikeJuly 7, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 7, 2023
Contact: April.Ezzell@1199.org, 1199SEIU Communications (716) 449-1620
Buffalo, NY - More than 25 union professional and technical nursing home workers at Absolut Care of Aurora Park and Absolut Care of Allegany overwhelmingly ratified a new 2- year agreement averting a weeklong strike. Rehabilitation unit workers at two Absolut Care facilities had been working without a contract since their 2-year contract expired April 30, 2023 and were set to begin a weeklong strike, but were able to reach an agreement that was ratified by union membership today. Rehabilitation Unit workers are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
Rehabilitation unit workers at Absolut Care of Aurora Park and Absolut Care of Allegany work as full and part time Occupational Therapists, Speech/Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists, Dieticians, Social Workers, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA), and Sports Trainers.
Rehabilitation workers at Absolut Care of Aurora Park and Absolut Care of Allegany (dba as RCA Servicer at Aurora Park, LLC & RCA Servicer at Allegany, LLC) were working without a contract for several months following an informational picket and the authorization to hold a weeklong strike. The weeklong strike was averted when caregivers were able to reach a 2-year deal late last week. Union members were able to review the agreement and to vote this week, overwhelmingly ratifying the new deal.
“We are pleased that we were finally able to come to an agreement after months of negotiations and voting to strike,” said Shannon Earl-Durolek, Speech Pathologist at Absolut Care of Aurora Park. “We hope that the new agreement helps to recruit new team members to help with short staffing,” said Earl-Durolek.
The new two-year labor contract includes significant increases to starting rates of pay for newly hired employees, a uniform allowance and training pay which improves recruitment efforts for both rural facilities. Caregivers were able to fight back against concessionary proposals and win significant across the board general wage increases which include retroactive pay back to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement (May 31, 2023).
The new agreement covering rehabilitation unit workers runs through April 30, 2025.
Absolut Care of Aurora Park and Absolut Care of Allegany are currently undergoing a change in ownership through New York State Department of Health (project 201264). The for-profit residential health care facilities will be owned by Orly Lieberman, 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.