Weinberg Campus Nursing Home Caregivers Working Critically Short-StaffedNovember 9, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: April Ezzell, 1199SEIU Communications, (716)449-1620
Workers Say Low Staffing Levels Could Impact Quality Care As Some Nurses Care For Up To 15 Residents
Getzville, NY – More than 200 Nursing home workers at Weinberg Campus in Getzville are working critically short-staffed and without a union contract. Their 1-year contract extension expired October 31, 2021. Nursing Home Workers are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
Healthcare workers have only been offered contract extensions and say working short staffed and without a fair agreement makes it harder on everyone. “Nobody really took over yet,” says Steve Boyd, a Maintenance Worker at Weinberg Campus for 21 years. “We’ve been asking for a long-term contract but they only offer yearly contracts,” says Boyd.
The owners of Elderwood purchased the Getzville facility for $47 million dollars and told NYS Department of Health they planned to make cuts to bed-side caregivers such as Licensed Practical Nurses and aides, but would hire more workers. The sale of Weinberg has not been finalized, leaving healthcare workers in limbo and without enough staff to provide the quality care residents deserve.
“I have worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant for 21 years, 11 of those years at Weinberg and I’ve never seen staffing shortages like this,” says Monique Halton, Certified Nurse Assistant. “It’s not like how it used to be. Sometimes, we work with 2 aides and have 30 residents to provide care for and it’s so frustrating especially with COVID. If we had more staff, I could have more time to spend caring for my residents. Working so short staffed really takes the joy away from everyone, staff and residents,” says Halton.
Caregivers have been working short staffed long before COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s disappointing that Weinberg does not take our staffing crisis seriously,” says Toni Banks, a Housekeeper at Weinberg Campus for 11 years. “We have over 100 fewer employees than a couple years ago. Our residents are not getting the care they deserve because we just don’t have enough staff. We are being overworked and we are burned out. We need a contract that takes care of us dedicated employees and attracts new staff to fill all of the vacancies we have. We believe our proposals to management would accomplish that and Weinberg management has ignored most of them,” says Banks.
Caregivers at Weinberg Campus are Food Service Workers, Maintenance Workers, Cooks, Environmental Service Workers, Housekeeping, Certified Nurse Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Personal Care Aides, Clerical Workers, Home Health Aides, and Community Home Health Aides.
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. https://www.1199seiu.org