Nursing Home workers stand together

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Theresa Sutherland, CNA at Extendicare Aldercrest shares her story of how SEIU Healthcare 775NW made a difference in her life. “The union defended me against unfair and untrue allegations and allowed me to return to work with back pay. This is why we need to stand together, to have protections and build power.”

Serah Thuo, a CNA at Evergreen Talbot, is pictured in the center talking to her state legislator during lobby day in Olympia. “In February, I joined hundreds of union caregivers at the state capital, where we successfully stopped proposed cuts to nursing home funding that would have made staffing worse across the state. If caregivers keep uniting together, then I’d like to see us push for a state law with staffing ratios for caregivers-to-residents like SEIU members already did in Oregon.”

Serah talks about her concerns of staff safety, and why it is important to fight as part of a union in all nursing homes. “My biggest concern is safe-staffing, which just about all nursing homes struggle with. Last year our company got rid of some of our shower aides and reassigned their work to NACs. We saw this hurt staffing, so we documented every time one of us had staffing problems. Then we presented management with a report at a labor-management committee, and they agreed to bring back the shower aide for a high-acuity unit.”

Ashok Raju, a cook at Evergreen Talbot says that teaming up during bargaining. “When we recently negiotiated our contract, we teamed up with staff from five other homes owned by our company. By uniting across the company, we got our employer to agree to pay a higher share of our health care premiums, and another home negotiating with us won 100-percent employer-paid premiums after one year of service.” He said, “We each start where we are at and stick together to make as many improvements as we can.”

 

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