Unhappy Holidays’ – Workers Called Out Nursing Home For Bounced Paychecks & More ‘Humbug’ Treatment While Staffing & Care Crisis Puts Caregivers & Patients At Risk Across StateDecember 29, 2023
Workers at West Broward Rehabilitation & Healthcare called out the facility for bouncing paychecks, reduced and mishandled insurance contributions and other “Scrooge-like” treatment this holiday season, and at a time when caregivers and patients throughout the state are put at risk due to a spiraling staffing, retention and care crisis.
The workers -- members of 1199SEIU, the largest union of healthcare workers in Florida – were joined by supporters, elected officials and community leaders at a media conference near the facility. Caregivers shared their stories about the hardships they’ve been facing.
“I have small children to feed. How would you feel? When I go to the bank to cash my check, there’s no money,” said Callette Taylor.
Taylor isn’t the only one. Other staff at West Broward Rehabilitation & Healthcare, which employs approximately 150 workers, say they have faced bouncing paychecks for about a year -- including on the day after Thanksgiving – making it difficult for them to enjoy their holiday weekend because many workers live paycheck to paycheck. Despite their important and difficult jobs caring for the state’s most vulnerable and elderly population, nursing home workers are some of the healthcare industry’s lowest paid employees and far too many cannot afford health insurance for them and their families.
For those who do have insurance, reduced and mishandled employer insurance contributions have resulted in higher coverage costs and lapsed policies, and other company policies are placing greater financial burden on direct care, dietary, housekeeping, laundry and other low-wage workers. In addition to not only repairing and reversing these problems, workers are also calling for fair raises to help offset Florida’s especially high cost of living. During bargaining with 1199SEIU member leaders, the company has proposed raises of about $2 per day, far below cost of living increases in Broward.
“It’s sad that committed caregivers have to suffer this treatment during the holidays or any time during the year,” said Margarette Nerette, Vice President of Long-Term Care for 1199SEIU. “Workers at this facility are victims of an industrywide crisis of corporate greed, short-staffing, unfair and unsafe conditions that hurt not just staff, but patients, families and communities across Florida.”
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest union of healthcare workers in Florida, representing more than 30,000 active and retired caregivers across the state. Members of 1199SEIU serve in about 80 nursing homes and 30 hospitals in Florida.