Hochul Vies With Governor Candidates For Health Care Union Vote As Nursing Homes Threaten Strike

Hochul Vies With Governor Candidates For Health Care Union Vote As Nursing Homes Threaten Strike

The union 1199SEIU is presently concerned in negotiations with two teams representing a complete of about 250 for-profit nursing houses. Each contracts expired on the finish of September.

Throughout all the nursing houses concerned within the negotiations, greater than 41,000 residents could possibly be impacted if there’s a strike, primarily based on an estimate of the typical variety of residents per nursing facility statewide.

Over the previous couple of weeks, the 33,000 staff lined by these contracts have voted on whether or not to permit the union to authorize a strike if negotiations proceed to stall. The outcomes of the vote haven’t but been introduced, however within the meantime, employees have picketed in entrance of a handful of nursing houses in New York Metropolis and neighboring counties.

About two dozen staff and supporters rallied exterior of the Linden Middle for Nursing and Rehabilitation in East New York, Brooklyn on November 1st.

“We just need a fair contract to reflect all the sacrifices that we went through during the pandemic,” stated Marcell Grant, an authorized nursing assistant (CNA) at Linden and 1199 delegate who has been sitting in on contract negotiations through Zoom. “For the two years of the pandemic, we have been holding it down while management was at home with their families.”

Grant and different CNAs lined by the 1199 contracts presently earn a bit over $17 per hour. They help residents with every day requirements akin to consuming, bathing, going to the toilet and shifting round.

Grant stated through the top of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York final 12 months, she needed to seclude herself from her household. On the time, Linden Middle employees known as out administration for not doing sufficient to guard them from the coronavirus and for under providing bonuses to some employees moderately than offering common hazard pay.

“We wrapped dead bodies almost every day,” stated Grant. “To see them treating us unfairly–it is just overwhelming.”

The union is negotiating three-year contracts and is asking for a 2% elevate within the first 12 months, with a 3% elevate every of the next years. It’s additionally looking for a $3,000 bonus in recognition of staff’ work through the pandemic. These phrases had been included within the contract 1199 agreed upon in September with the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes, which represents about 90 nonprofit hospitals and nursing houses throughout the state.

“We care about the residents, but if we don’t get what we want, it’s sad to say that we have to strike and they would have to probably suffer for it,” Grant stated on the November 1st picket.

Richard Mollott, government director of the Lengthy Time period Care Neighborhood Coalition, which advocates on behalf of New York nursing house residents and their households, stated he had seen strikes at particular person services in recent times, however none on the dimensions being proposed by 1199.

Mollott stated he would assist the transfer if the union determines it’s essential, reasoning that higher pay and dealing circumstances may, in flip, contribute to raised look after residents.

“I’m cognizant that this can obviously put a strain on the residents’ access to care if there was a strike,” he stated. “But if the nursing homes are aware that a strike is coming or might be coming, it’s incumbent upon them to take the steps necessary to either bring in temps or to transfer their residents to a safe location.”

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