1199SEIU, NY nursing homes reach contractual agreement for 33,000 workers


Small said similar support for other nursing homes will be part of Hochul’s next executive budget.

Neil Heyman, chief executive of the Southern New York Association, which represents more than 60 skilled nursing facilities in the metro area, said the governor’s involvement in the collective bargaining process was unprecedented and credited the commitment funding from Hochul as the seal of the deal.

Union officials had called for a roughly 40% increase in funding for health benefits to reflect increased member health spending during the pandemic, Heyman previously said. Crain’s. Care home owners said they could not afford such a large increase, at least not without state assistance.

The funding pledge, which Hochul’s office and 1199SEIU did not mention in their announcements of the deal, is intended to bridge the gap. Heyman said nursing homes would collectively pay about 4.5% more into the health fund. Exact numbers are still being determined as the parties finalize the contracts.

The agreement provides for a salary increase of 3.5% the first year of the contract and 3% for each of the following two years, as well as a bonus of $1,500 which will be paid in January. Other changes include adding Juneteenth as a paid holiday and new language to add protected employment status for members with 10 or more years of work and to negotiate future bonuses during public health emergencies.

The terms apply to two separate contracts that collectively cover almost 33,000 nursing home employees. Both have an Oct. 1 start date, which means workers will receive retroactive pay increases, Heyman said. He said the union and care homes had previously discussed $3,000 bonuses and smaller annual pay increases. They agreed on the current arrangement, which he says amounts to roughly the same amount, so the money will be spread over time.

The union said all but one nursing home – the 134-bed Campbell Hall Rehabilitation Center in Orange County – signed up, prompting 48 of the facility’s employees to go on strike on Wednesday .

Owner Jerry Wood, who said he was bargaining on his own behalf rather than as part of one of the care home industry blocs, said the union did not invite him to the meetings. negotiation. He added that he had not seen a copy of the tentative agreement.

“It’s hard to sign a contract that they haven’t presented to me,” Wood said. “They didn’t even try to negotiate with me.”

He said he would accept the annual percentage increases in wages if his retirement home’s pay rates were used as the denominator, rather than the rates for workers in the five boroughs. He said he was also in favor of the $1,500 bonus and increased funding for health benefits.

George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU, said the union had secured a strong contract that recognized the sacrifices made by care home workers during the pandemic.

“From raises to a bonus in hand, workers can rest better knowing that their efforts are not only recognized with banners outside their facilities and catered lunches, but with the respect and dignity that they won as heroes,” Gresham said in a statement. .

The contractual agreements now await ratification by 1199SEIU members.

1199SEIU represents approximately 325,000 healthcare workers statewide, including 65,000 nursing home employees.


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