1199 SEIU’s ‘Day Of Action’ Events Across New York State: Workers Call On Governor & State Legislature ‘To Work Together To Pass Legislation Improving Transparency, Accountability & Investment’ In Nursing Home System
(ACROSS NEW YORK STATE) - Thousands of 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Worker East Members, the Nation’s largest Health Care Union, participated in a Day of Action last week at more than 200 nursing homes across New York State, calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature to work together to pass real nursing home reform that ensures nursing homes invest in resident care rather than profits.
The widespread Day of Action is the latest in the Union’s Invest in Quality Care Campaign, launched last month to urge legislative action to reform New York’s Nursing Home System and ensure residents get the quality care they deserve.
Leaders in Albany have heard 1199 SEIU Workers’ call for reforms and have begun the process of passing key policies that would improve transparency and accountability, and to ensure nursing home operators are making the investments necessary to provide the most vulnerable in New York with the quality care they deserve.
With their action, Nursing Home Caregivers are pressing to ensure that any reform enacted will actually improve conditions in the homes, by forcing operators to spend more on resident care and provide sufficient hours of hands-on care.
Two weeks ago, the State Assembly passed a series of bills focused on improving transparency and accountability in nursing homes, including one requiring operators invest a minimum of 70% of their overall revenue on resident care, including 40% on staffing, and another preventing owners with poor track records from purchasing additional homes.
The State Senate has advanced similar legislation and Governor Cuomo included nursing home reform policies in his 2021 budget proposal.
1199 SEIU Members across New York are calling on the Governor and Legislature to come together and finalize these critically-needed reforms - including minimum hours of care for residents - as part of the State budget process.
“Nursing Home Workers all over New York have been standing up and taking action in the name of change for their residents, their co-workers, and themselves,” 1199 SEIU Nursing Home Division Executive Vice President Milly Silva said.
“They have dealt with so much over the last year, and they are standing together to demand the reforms that could have saved the lives of their residents and even their own colleagues. They are united and they are ready to keep up the fight until the industry makes the changes needed to prioritize resident care and the well-being of Workers over profits,” said
Debbie Ciavarra, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) for more than 30 years at Cortlandt Healthcare in Westchester County, said: “Most days there are not enough CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) to meet the needs of the forty residents I care for. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times - Nurses cannot do our jobs without CNAs. They are essential to the care program. Residents depend on their CNAs. It has been devastating for a year now, since the pandemic meant that families could not visit. And yet there is frequent turnover and a constant shortage of Nursing Assistants because to put it bluntly, their work is not valued by the owners. Ironic, since the “nursing” home could not operate without Nurses and Nurse Assistants.” I’m telling Albany lawmakers that this needs to be fixed now!”
Samira McClure, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) employed at Ellicott Center for Rehabilitation in Buffalo, said: “I don’t see how management expects one Nurse and one aide to run an entire rehab floor with thirty-seven patients. Many of those residents are two assist and some require one to one care. We need to give them adequate care - it’s why there here.”