Nearly 30,000 Nursing Home Caregivers Throughout New York Metro Area Win Strong Contracts, Fend Off Potential Strikes

December 20, 2018

For Immediate Release: December 18, 2018

Contact:   Amanda Torres-Price | (917) 886-9311
                   Mark Riley | 347) 637-0621

New York City, Lower Hudson Valley, Long Island: After months of bargaining, informational pickets and a strike vote, nearly 30,000 nursing home caregivers and other workers at nursing homes throughout New York City, Long Island, Westchester County and Rockland County have reached strong contract agreements with their employers just in time for the holidays. The contracts are modeled after the ground-breaking contract 1199SEIU hospital and nursing home workers reached with employers with the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes in July 2018.

At nursing homes covered by the Greater New York contract, workers also achieved wage parity increases aimed at bringing the lowest paid workers into line with the majority—something which management pushed back on even though ensuring fair wages will help nursing homes recruit and retain qualified staff to care for our vulnerable and elderly community members.

“I have been fighting for parity for 20 years. I was willing to do whatever it took — including going on strike,” said Yolanda Diaz, a Certified Nursing Assistant with Sapphire Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. “This is what you call unity. It shows that we will stand up and what affects one of us affects us all!”

The Greater New York and Group of 65 contracts cover approximately 20,000 and 10,000 workers, respectively, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, clerical staff, food service workers and housekeepers. Workers protected their high-quality healthcare benefits and won 3 percent raises each year of the 3-year contracts. They also carved a path for solving the short-staffing issues that make it difficult for workers to provide the best quality of care.

“We come to work every day and we dedicate ourselves to the residents we take care of,” said Marcia Levene, a Certified Nursing Assistant with Bay Park Nursing Center in the Bronx. “We got out there on the picket line and made our voices heard at the bargaining table because management only wanted to meet us halfway. Now, we’ve won what we and our families deserve!”

These nursing home victories come on the heels of other ground-breaking contract wins for 1199SEIU workers, including a recent settlement for 7,500 hospital workers with NYU Langone hospitals, who fought against threats to their healthcare benefits and convinced their employer to go back into city-wide bargaining with the League. Employers are emboldened by Washington’s hostility toward labor and our communities, but healthcare workers are showing that they are committed to fighting back and maintaining quality care and good jobs for New York.

 

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The mission of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is to advocate for quality healthcare and good jobs for all. With over 400,000 nurses and healthcare workers throughout the East Coast, they are the nation’s largest and fastest-growing healthcare union. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @1199SEIU, or visit our website at 1199SEIU.org.