Nursing Home Workers In Buffalo & Rochester Will Hold Informational Pickets To Demand Safe Staffing Levels, Better Wages, and Healthcare Benefits

November 17, 2021


Contact: April Ezzell, 1199SEIU Communications, (716)449‐1620

Interview Opportunity

Caregivers hit hard by COVID‐19 Demand Fair Contracts

WHO: Nursing Home Workers

WHAT: Informational Pickets

WHEN: Wednesday, November 17, 2021

WHERE: Buffalo Community Healthcare Center
1205 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209
2pm – 4pm, Press Conference at 3:15pm

Rochester Community Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
989 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14610
11 am – 4pm, Press Conference at 3:15pm* (time change)

WHY: More than 100 nursing home workers hit hard during COVID-19 and short staffing are fighting for fair wages and a union contract at two WNY and Rochester area facilities owned or operated by The Grand Healthcare System, CEO Jeremy B. Strauss.1 Nursing home workers at Buffalo Community Healthcare Center and Rochester Community Nursing & Rehabilitation are among the lowest paid caregivers in the Buffalo and Rochester area earning well below the average wage of workers at other area nursing homes. Healthcare workers are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

Quality care is at risk when staffing levels are poor. “We want safe staffing ratios to better provide for our residents, but we also need better pay rate so people want to stay here,” says Tanequa Everett, Certified Nurse Assistant at Buffalo Community

Healthcare Center. “They hire people every week and no one stays because they refuse to work for $12.60 an hour! Some people are working 180 hours every two weeks and still can’t make ends-meet. I’m a C.N.A. and I only earn $13.50 an hour.

We need a living wage. We take care of people for a living and we don’t even earn minimum wage. Then they turn-around and hire agency workers and pay them nearly double what we get. Why can’t they pay us a living wage,” says Everett. Workers current wages don’t pay the bills. “I am picketing because the cost of living went up and my paycheck doesn’t help me to pay my bills,” says Patricia Young- Lauderdale, an Activities Aide at Rochester Community Nursing & Rehabilitation for 20 years. “It’s been that way for a minute and I could really use a raise,” says Young- Lauderdale.

Short staffing impacts the residents. “I have been working alone to pass all 80 residents their snacks and mail each day,” says Young-Lauderdale. “I also take the residents for activities outside, family visits, all while trying to keep them entertained. If I can’t provide for them, they get left out. We used to have three people, but once they are hired and see their paycheck, they quit and leave for other places where they can make more. The pay is so very low that no one will stay. I had to take on a second job cleaning offices just to help pay my bills,” says Young-Lauderdale.

Buffalo Community Healthcare Center and Rochester Community Nursing and Rehabilitation Center caregivers are Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Dietary Aides, Cooks, Maintenance Workers, Receptionists, Activity Aides, Housekeeping and Laundry Aides.

Both nursing home facilities are owned or operated by The Grand Healthcare System. CEO of The Grand Healthcare System is Jeremy B. Strauss.2


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.