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TAMPA, FL – Caregivers working for University Village Nursing Center will be protesting over concerns of recent issues revolving around management’s irresponsible practices, and the company’s most recent proposal to deny workers raises, continuation of pension contributions and lose of paid time off. Currently, the facility’s license is under litigation for putting residents at risk and not being able to meet its financial obligations. Caregivers have also had instances where many of their paychecks have been rejected for insufficient funds.

“As caregivers, we are dedicated to caring for our residents because we know they are someone’s grandmother or father, but they are shortchanging us with poverty wages,” says Merline Thomas, and employee at University Village Nursing Center. “We want to deliver the best quality care for our residents and better pay and benefits so that we can live our lives and provide for our families. We are tired of getting the same answer.”

The quality of care being delivered to residents is also of concern to caregivers. University Village Nursing Center has a much higher average than the rest of Florida instances of urinary tract infections, long-term, low-risk patients that lose control of bladder or bowel function and long-term residents experiencing one or more falls that result in major injuries. The nursing facility is currently on the state’s Nursing Facility Watch List and has been fined nearly $90K over the last five years, while being rated one star out of five by Nursing Home Compare.

“University Village Nursing Center is double or triple-dipping from our pockets to get rich! Their questionable practices are forcing employees to apply for public assistance such as food stamps because they don’t pay enough or bounce paychecks, and receiving public money through Medicaid and Medicare, while putting residents at risk,” says Robert Gibson, Vice President for 1199SEIU Florida. “They are prioritizing their profits while compromising the quality of care provided to our loved ones. If providing quality care is really of concern to management, quality jobs for their caregivers should be a priority.”

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1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Florida represents more than 25,000 nurses and healthcare workers throughout the state and 400,000 workers across Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, and Washington, D.C., 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. Our mission is to achieve affordable, high quality healthcare for all. 1199SEIU is part of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union.

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