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1199 SEIU Launches Massive Nursing Home Reform Campaign - Supports Legislation To Ensure Nursing Homes ‘Focus On Quality Care To Protect Residents & Dedicated Workers Who Care For Them, Rather Than Maximizing’ Profits

Published Tuesday, February 9, 2021
by 1199 SEIU News
1199 SEIU Launches Massive Nursing Home Reform Campaign - Supports Legislation To Ensure Nursing Homes ‘Focus On Quality Care To Protect Residents & Dedicated Workers Who Care For Them, Rather Than Maximizing’ Profits

(NEW YORK CITY) – On the heels of the New York State Attorney General’s report that revealed nursing homes with fewer Staff had more COVID deaths, 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest Health Care Union in the country, is launching a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign to reform the Nursing Home Industry.

The Union supports legislation to hold nursing home owners accountable to ensure quality care for New York State’s most vulnerable and protections for the dedicated men and women who care for them.   

Union Officials say the campaign, called Invest in Quality Care is necessary now because the COVID-19 Pandemic amplified chronic shortcomings in the nursing home industry, including inadequate infection control, insufficient hours of care, low wages, high turnover, reliance on per diem Workers, profiteering and insufficient state oversight, Union Officials said.

These conditions contributed to 12,743 confirmed and presumed resident deaths in New York, as well as high rates of infection and illness for Nursing Home Caregivers. 

These COVID-19 deaths and illnesses disproportionately affected Workers and Residents of Color.

Residents and their families deserve high-quality care and nursing homes must invest appropriately, rather than hiding profits through “related party transactions” and other complicated financial schemes, 1199 SEIU Officials said.

“We cannot simply return to pre-pandemic conditions of sub-standard care and low quality jobs,” 1199 SEIU Executive Vice President Milly Silva said.  “True comprehensive reform is needed to ensure that residents receive the highest levels of care and that Workers are able to remain safe and healthy as they tend to the residents they know and love.  The state must ensure that the billions of taxpayer dollars being spent to provide care are actually being spent on quality care and not siphoned off as excessive profits.”

More than 65,000 1199 SEIU Members work in 343 nursing homes across the state, which is one of only 10 states that has no minimum staffing requirement for nursing homes.

New York also ranks 45th in the Nation in an important quality metric due to the high number of facilities that provide below average hours of care to residents.

In terms of Nursing Home Staffing, New York is behind other states.

For example, South Carolina and New Mexico.

The number of hours of care a resident receives is directly correlated with resident outcomes and fewer hours can result in nursing homes when they are understaffed.

As a result, residents suffer.

Low staffing can also result in pressure sores, falls and malnutrition

1199 SEIU will use its organizing, political and communications resources to lobby for a requirement that homes increase their spending on resident care and staffing. 

The Union will also push for state enforcement of the minimum hours of daily care residents must receive, as well as measures to improve infection control and prevent owners with poor track records from buying new homes. 

In addition, the campaign will launch an information-rich public website and a series of digital and television ads throughout the Winter and into the Spring - augmented by lobbying visits in Albany, e-mail blasts and public updates. 

1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest and fastest-growing Health Care Union in America whose mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all, represents more than 400,000 Nurses and Caregivers throughout the states of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida, and in Washington, D.C.

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