1199 SEIU-Represented Cayuga Ridge Nursing Home Workers In Ithaca Publicly Rally To ‘Demand A Fair Contract Without Concessions’ From Its Downstate Owners - Local Health Care Heroes Say They ‘Won’t Accept Cuts To Their Benefits’
(ITHACA, NEW YORK) – Union-represented Nursing Home Workers employed at the Cayuga Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Ithaca rallied this week to publicly protest the lack of a fair contract and management’s concessionary proposals.
The Caregivers - who work as Unit Clerks, Grounds Keepers, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs), Social Workers and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTAs), are represented by 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers East. They’ve been working short-staffed and without a contract since May 1st, 2021.
“Downstate owners Shalom and Barry Braunstein are using stall tactics at the bargaining table while hiring out-of-town Agency Staff to come work for higher rates,” 1199 SEIU Organizer Emmanuel White charged.
Health Care Heroes deserve a fair contract without having to give back benefits they have earned, 1199 SEIU Officials said, adding that “good wages will help to attract and retain local Staff to provide the quality care our hometown residents deserve.”
“We need a contract that maintains our benefits and provides us with quality wages,” LPN Darrell Pokorney said. “Our lowest wage earners making Minimum Wage deserve a Living Wage so they can provide for their family’s basic living expenses - like food, housing and other needs.”
Workers are also demanding affordable health insurance.
“I served six years in the Army and I am a Veteran,” says Scott Krone, who is employed in Service and Maintenance. “I deserve to have affordable, quality health insurance. I’ve had several hospitalizations and if our employer can’t offer good health insurance, how can I afford to be healthy?”
“These Caregivers should not be forced to choose between being able to provide for their family and quality benefits,” 1199 SEIU Organizer White said. “These downstate owners are asking our local Health Care Heroes to take cuts their health insurance, pension and other vital benefits they need to care for themselves and their families.”
Workers and management are tentatively scheduled to return to bargaining on Wednesday, September 29th.