Frontline caregivers organized an informational picket outside the facility to demand a living wage and call on Twinbrook to immediately restore higher shift pay for workers serving on second, third, and weekend shifts. Poverty-wages are driving the short-staffing crisis.
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(November 30th, 2021, ERIE, PA) – Frontline nursing home workers at Twinbrook Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center held a press conference and informational picket outside the facility to call on the owner and management to invest in our essential workforce by providing fair and living wages.
Essential workers also demanded that Twinbrook immediately restore shift differential pay for caregivers who work second, third, and weekend shifts.
Pat Rhodes, a CNA at Twinbrook Healthcare for 39-years and President of the Chapter spoke at the press event. She works the third shift and is impacted by the owner’s decision to take away shift differential wages from essential workers who are working during this pandemic.
“Many of our caregivers need to work 2nd, 3rd, and weekend shifts just to earn a little more money to make ends meet. The fact that Twinbrook’s owners and managers took away money from us, without even the dignity of informing us, communicating with our leaders, or offering a reason, is disrespectful,” said Pat Rhodes, CNA.
Workers at Twinbrook organized today’s picket to educate the community about what is happening at the facility.
Frontline workers are calling for a living wage to retain and recruit the best caregivers to provide the quality care that their residents need and deserve. Twinbrook’s decision to take money out of the hands of essential workers will only worsen the current catastrophic short-staffing crisis.
“Our commitment to our residents and seniors is beyond question. Our facility lost 19 residents during the COVID outbreak in the summer of 2020, and saw virtually our entire caregiving workforce become sick from the coronavirus,” said Juli Blair, also a CNA for 39-years at Twinbrook.
“Working at a nursing home used to be the hardest job — then it became the most dangerous. We’re still here serving and advocating for our residents. Twinbrook needs to show us through their actions that we are respected as the professionals that we are and pay us our shift differential again,” said Blair.
Twinbrook workers organized and joined SEIU Healthcare PA during the pandemic in June 2020. But while workers were still negotiating their first contract the facility was sold to a new owner a year later in June 2021. When workers won a modest .25 cent an hour raise for staff who served from 1 to 10 years – and a .50 cent raise for workers with over 10 years of service at Twinbrook – workers say that never in a million years did they think the new owner would then turn around and strip caregivers of their shift differential pay. It was a signal that the new owner would put profits over providing quality care.
“When we’re asked to come to work with the pandemic still ongoing, exhausted from working short-staffed, and earning pay low-wages, only to have our paychecks reduced — money actually taken away from us — it is no wonder that our essential workers are leaving the nursing home workforce in droves,” said Pat Rhodes.
“We are speaking out today not because of need, but because of necessity,” said Juli Blair. “We are taking action today and raising our voices to support ourselves and our families because that is what we have to do!”
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and healthcare workers, uniting nurses, professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home- and community-based services, and state facilities across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to improving the lives of health care workers and ensuring quality care and healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians.