The contracts with Priority Healthcare, Comprehensive Healthcare and Shenandoah Heights Healthcare, LLC, provide wage increases, better benefits, and provisions that hold industry accountable to workers and residents
After months of negotiations at the bargaining table, and the longest nursing home strike in SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania’s history, workers at Comprehensive, Priority and Shenandoah Heights Healthcare, LLC-owned nursing homes have used their collective strength to win union contracts that invest in staffing and resident care, and can begin to transform the nursing home industry.
“After seven days on the picket line, we’re eager to get back to our residents and the work we love. It was an incredibly difficult decision to strike, but we hung together because we deserve a contract that protects our union, strengthens our workforce and puts resident care first,” said Comprehensive bargaining committee member Shannon McBride, a certified nursing assistant at The Grove at Irwin, owned by Comprehensive Healthcare.
“Our demands fell on deaf ears for far too long, but we refused to stand down. And management finally heard us. This agreement is a step in the right direction toward raising the bar for care and care jobs at Comprehensive facilities across Pennsylvania.”
There are separate contracts for Comprehensive, Priority and Shenandoah-owned homes, but all three include:
- Wage scales that lift all workers across all departments, across-the-board increases for all workers, and longevity increases to respect experience and years of service to retain the workforce. The average raise for workers across the three contracts is 24 percent.
- Adjustments to health insurance to make costs more affordable for all caregivers, and ensure more in-network providers.
- A commitment to adhere to the upcoming improved state staffing regulations.
- Successorship language to maintain union contracts if these nursing homes are sold, rather than contracts being dismantled in a sale. This protection ensures union members have the right to maintain their contracts with the new employers for a period of time, until a new agreement is reached.
“I experienced firsthand what it’s like when your facility gets sold to a new company; your benefits get taken away, your pay gets reduced, people end up quitting for better opportunities, and the talent that stays becomes overworked,” said Raheem Armitage, a certified nursing assistant at Priority-owned The Gardens at Wyoming Valley. “You worry whether you’ll have a job tomorrow and how you’ll take care of your family. So having successorship language means we can keep what we fought for — we won’t have to start from zero again.”
The Shenandoah contract includes employer-paid holidays, meaning workers will no longer have to use PTO for holiday time off.
“These workers have been relentless advocates for their residents, providing care through conditions most of us cannot even imagine,” said Matthew Yarnell, President SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “There’s a national trend towards for-profit nursing home operators using tax dollars to fulfill the demands of their investors. This strike was about forcing nursing home operators to invest in our work and care for Pennsylvania’s residents. We stand against that for-profit model of how we care for nursing home residents.”
About 700 workers were part of unfair labor practice strikes that began Labor Day Weekend. CNAs, dietary workers, housekeepers, activities workers, aides, and other essential positions that keep our communities’ nursing homes running walked off the job to demand corporate accountability for the $600M in public funds from the state budget intended to rebuild the workforce and bring caregivers back to the bedside.
On August 30, Guardian-owned facilities originally slated to join the strike reached an agreement.
For more information contact Julia Shenkar: firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-317-0540