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Across More Than 12 States, Thousands Of Workers ‘Take Their Demands National In A Coordinated, Sustained Campaign For Industrywide Reform’ - Including A $15 Minimum Start Rates For Service Workers

Published Wednesday, June 8, 2022
by 1199 SEIU News
Across More Than 12 States, Thousands Of Workers ‘Take Their Demands National In A Coordinated, Sustained Campaign For Industrywide Reform’ - Including A $15 Minimum Start Rates For Service Workers

(BUFFALO, NEW YORK) – As 1199 Service Employee International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers East-represented Nursing Home Workers across Western New York continue their fight for fair contracts at 12 area for-profit nursing homes, more than 1,200 local Caregivers joined a nationwide day of action that took place in more than a dozen states today (June 8th), uniting their local demand for fair wages and going national with their campaign.

Last week, local Caregivers told stories to U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins and other elected officials at a closed-door roundtable, highlighting the importance of trying to provide care to the most vulnerable residents - while fighting for-profit downstate companies for fair wages.

1199 SEIU Members later announced a joint campaign of more than 1,200 Nursing Home Workers who planned coordinated job actions across Western New York to fight for a $15 Minimum Wage for Service Workers, higher starting rates for new Caregivers, and wage scales for experienced Caregivers - all to improve critically short-staffed, for-profit homes trying to meet New York State’s requirement for 3.5 hours of care per resident per day.

Nursing Home Workers have identified common issues across geographies and are organizing around demands including Safe Staffing, Unions For All, and quality, affordable care for residents.

From New York to California to Pennsylvania to Florida and beyond, these Workers have identified solutions to the Nation’s growing crisis in nursing homes that respect and protect Workers and residents alike.

Now, local Caregivers are taking their fight to a national level in a coordinated and sustained campaign that includes Worker mobilizations, advocacy and investment aimed at reaching the Biden Administration, State Officials, and for-profit downstate nursing home employers directly.

The Biden Administration has begun proposing measures to improve nursing home jobs and to hold employers accountable, in part because Nursing Home Workers have raised their voices directly to Administration Officials to demand reform.

Next week in Western New York, 1199 SEIU Members employed at five different nursing homes are scheduled to hold informational pickets at: Fiddler’s Green Manor in Springville, owned and operated by Jeffrey Goldstein and Chaim Lowenbraun; and at four McGuire Group facilities owned by Edward Farbenblum - including the Autumn View Health Care Center in Hamburg, the Garden Gate Health Care Facility in Cheektowaga, North Gate Manor in North Tonawanda and the Seneca Health Care Center in West Seneca.

“The status quo in our nursing homes is not working - not for Workers, residents or for families. As the Nation looks to move past COVID-19, Nursing Home Workers and residents are facing a system on the brink of collapse,” SEIU National President Mary Kay Henry said.

“It's Black and Brown Women who are keeping nursing homes running, caring for residents even as the industry barely hangs on.  These same Women are supporting the communities that have been devastated by overlapping crises.  That’s why Workers are taking action now across the country to demand Nursing Home Workers be respected, protected and paid living wages,” Henry said.

1199 SEIU Member Awilda Villanueva, who is employed as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) at the Seneca Health Care Center in Western New York, said: “It’s not about me, it’s about the residents and it’s about the dignity for the patients.  When we say contract it’s not just about Staff, it’s about the patients.  McGuire is thinking about dollar signs and not the dignity of our patients that we serve.”

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

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