1199 SEIU-Represented Nursing Home Workers Stage Statewide Demonstrations, Call For Nursing Home Reform, Transparency & Investment In Quality Care For Their Patients
(ACROSS NEW YORK STATE) - Hundreds of Workers represented by the Nation’s largest Health Care Union held vigils and demonstrations outside nursing home facilities across New York State on Thursday (February 18th) to demand investment in people over profits.
New York ranks 45th in the Nation in an important quality metric due to the large number of nursing homes with below-average hours of care per resident.
Workers represented by 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers East took part in the actions that occurred at more than 20 facilities statewide in Dutchess, Erie, Jefferson, Monroe, Nassau, Niagara, Onondaga, Oneida, Schenectady and Suffolk Counties, and New York City.
Some of the sites were the demonstrations occurred have low average hours of care per resident, use a high number of related parties to hide profits, or otherwise rank poorly in care quality, 1199 SEIU Officials said.
The action was led by 1199 SEIU and is the latest in the Health Care Union’s Invest in Quality Care Campaign, which calls on State Leaders to reform New York’s nursing home industry and ensure revenue is spent on quality care for residents, rather than diverted to excessive profits.
“When I’m caring for twenty two residents by myself, there is never enough time,” said Iris Purks, an 1199 SEIU Member who has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Safire Rehabilitation of the Northtowns in Tonawanda, just outside Buffalo, for 27 years.
“Our residents end up waiting for even the most basic care, getting out of bed, having their meals or getting their needed treatments. They depend on us for everything. I feel really rushed and pressured. The residents want your time but you have to tell them you need to move on to provide care for the next person. No matter how hard we try to make it feel like a home, we struggle to provide the care our residents deserve. We need nursing home reform - now, it can’t wait!,” Purks said.
1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East - whose mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all, is the largest and fastest-growing Health Care Union in America, representing more than 400,000 Nurses and Caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida, as well as Washington, D.C.