Scroll below to watch TV news clips and read the compelling statements from our Twinbrook’s leaders, Pat Rhodes and Juli Blair, both CNAs who have each worked at the facility for 39-years. They spoke out to demand the return of our shift differential pay!
(November 30, 2021, Erie, PA) — Essential workers at Twinbrook Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center organized a picket and press conference to call attention during this ongoing COVID pandemic that Twinbrook is actually taking money out of the paychecks of caregivers amidst a catastrophic staffing crisis.
Pat Rhodes and Juli Blair, who have worked as CNAs for 39-years, gave powerful speeches at the informational picket, and were interviewed by the media.
Here is the background: 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.
My name is Pat Rhodes,
I have worked at Twinbrook Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center for 39-years, the vast majority as a CNA.
I have seen it all, over my 39-years at my facility.
Our nursing home has been sold at least six different times.
I’ve served as a CNA for most of my time but I also worked as a restorative aide, a physical therapy aide, and a receptionist.
As the President of our Union Chapter, I am proud to speak at our picket and press conference today to call on Twinbrook Healthcare to immediately restore our shift differential pay.
I choose to work the 3rd shift.
I am one of the essential workers directly impacted by Twinbrook’s decision to take money out of our pockets!
One of the things I like about the night shift is that it can slow down enough to actually talk to our residents who wake up during the night, some looking for a snack.
Every so often some residents just want to talk. I treasure those moments the most.
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 owner took away money from us, without even the dignity of informing us, communicating with our leaders, or offering a reason, is disrespectful. We give our everything to our residents.
It’s why we work at this nursing home because it’s who we are.
So when we’re asked to come to work with the pandemic still ongoing, exhausted from working short-staffed, and earning low-wages, only to have our paychecks REDUCED — it is no wonder that our essential workers are leaving our workforce in droves.
That’s why we’re calling on Twinbrook to show us through their actions that we MATTER by immediately restoring our shift differential pay.
After we organized our Union, and started bargaining our first contract, our facility was sold yet again.
Even though we won a modest .25 cent raise for workers with up to 10-years seniority – and a .50 cent raise for workers with over 10 years of service — never in a million years would we have expected the new owner to then turn around and strip our shift differential pay.
The work is so demanding that it is virtually impossible to work extra shifts or pick up 2nd or 3rd jobs — even though that’s exactly what so many caregivers have to do just to make ends meet.
This is why Twinbrook taking money out of our paychecks is so unfair and unsettling.
I am proud to stand in solidarity with my fellow essential workers and we are raising our voices to say that we are worth more!
My message to Twinbrook’s owner and management is this: our single goal is to always protect, support, and advocate for our residents. Always!
But we are here today BECAUSE WE HAVE TO stand up for ourselves and our own families!
We’re calling on Twinbrook to treat us fairly. Pay us a living wage. And stop taking money out of our paychecks.
We are calling on Twinbrook to respect us as the dedicated professionals and caregivers that we are! Thank you!
My name is Julie Blair
I have worked at Twinbrook Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center for 39 years, the vast majority as a CNA.
I am proud to stand with my fellow essential caregivers today to demand that Twinbrook Healthcare provides us the fair living wages that we have earned and deserve.
Twinbrook’s decision to cut our wages during this trying time shows a lack of respect.
That’s right, our frontline staff who work 2nd and 3rd shifts, and weekends, who are paid slightly more for working difficult hours — often as a huge sacrifice to our families and our own health — just had our “shift differential pay” eliminated by our employer.
It’s not fair, and it’s not right.
But these decisions impact our residents.
The refusal to invest in our workers by paying us fair, and living wages means that our current short-staffing crisis will continue with no end in sight.
Low-wages, low morale, and utter exhaustion on the job, and constantly feeling disrespected by nursing home owners is making it harder than ever to retain and recruit nursing home workers across all job classes.
The real risk to our resident and the quality care we provide is that our workforce is being hollowed out – especially as experienced and skilled workers quit and leave altogether.
Taking away our shift differential pay – which our fellow workers rely on just to survive – just so that Twinbrook can make more money is irresponsible.
We love our residents, and care deeply about each and every single one of them. But working at a nursing home is punishing – both physically demanding and emotionally draining.
Our dedication to our residents and to our fellow co-workers is being taken advantage of.
That’s why we’re holding this informational picket and press event outside Twinbrook to let our community know that what is happening at our facility is wrong.
Our commitment to our residents is beyond question.
Through the pandemic and the loss of life in general, it was and still is a traumatizing event for all of us, but we persevere.
Working at a nursing home used to be the hardest job — then it became the most dangerous. And yet, we’re still here — serving our residents and advocating for them.
We, as essential caregivers, are demanding that we earn or shift differential pay again.
Twinbrook needs to show us through their actions that we are respected as the professionals that we are.
Our final message to Twinbrooks’ owner and management is this:
We are speaking out today NOT because of need — but because of necessity!
We are taking action today and raising our voices to support ourselves and our families because that is what we have to do!