Schuylkill County Nursing Home Employees Receive Raise Under Facility Agreements | Company

Workers at two Schuylkill County nursing homes will receive more money under contracts with their employers.

Under the three-year pacts, employees represented by SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania at The Gardens at York Terrace in Pottsville and Ridgeview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Shenandoah Heights will receive raises of more than $3 per hour, with the raises increasing by 9% in the first year of the contract and 18% during the contract. The lowest paid workers will get raises of more than 40%, according to the union, which released details of the contract on Monday.

The starting wage will be $14.50 an hour, compared to $10.50 an hour, according to the union, for some employees. The contract also includes increases for longevity.

The SEIU announced Friday that it has reached an agreement with Priority Healthcare, the parent company of The Gardens at York Terrace, and Comprehensive Healthcare. On Saturday, the union said a settlement had been reached with Ridgeview’s parent company, Shenandoah Heights Healthcare LLC.

The new contracts, which have been ratified by the union, put an end to the strikes in the establishments which began on September 2. Those for Guardian and Priority Healthcare are retroactive to July 1, while those for Ridgeview employees took effect September 1.

The strike involved 12 care homes and 700 workers, according to SEIU officials.

Staffing, health insurance needs met

In addition to the increases, workers will receive health insurance adjustments to make costs more affordable and allow more providers into the network, as well as a commitment to ensure safe staffing levels and maintain the contract in the event. of sale.

Ridgeview workers received paid time off, having already used personal time to go on vacation, according to the SEIU.

Before going on strike, the employees had demanded substantial wage increases for all existing employees; employer-paid health insurance; protection of the existing contract in the event of sale; ensuring that employers comply with new state regulations governing staffing; and written pledges not to interfere with the rights of workers who choose to form their unions to hold private equity firms and nefarious retirement home chains to account.

“These workers have been relentless advocates for their residents, providing care in conditions most of us cannot even imagine,” SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania President Matthew Yarnell said in a statement. “There is a national trend of for-profit nursing home operators using taxpayer dollars to meet the demands of their investors. This strike was to force nursing home operators to invest in our work and care for Pennsylvania residents. »

David Jasinski, an attorney representing the two Schuylkill County retirement homes, said he’s glad the contracts have been settled and looks forward to continuing to work with the union.

“We seek to provide the best services to residents,” he said.

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