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Nursing home workers go on strike

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 9/2/2022

Sep. 2—Nursing home workers at facilities in North Huntingdon and the Harmony area joined workers from 12 other nursing homes Friday in walking off their jobs in what their union is calling an unfair labor practices strike after contract negotiations broke down.

The Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania said 700 workers at 14 nursing homes statewide operated by Comprehensive Healthcare and Priority Healthcare "failed to provide significant enough investments into staffing and care."

The contract talks began Thursday morning, the union said.

"Our goal has always been — and continues to be — to get a fair contract that invests in this entire workforce and will meaningfully address the staffing crisis," said Matthew Yarnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania.

An administrator for The Grove nursing home in North Huntingdon could not be reached for comment Friday morning. Other Grove nursing homes are in New Castle, Harmony and Washington.

The union said the offer on the table fell short by failing to create the kind of wage scales the SEIU has won at other nursing home companies.

"These workers have been underpaid and disrespected for far too long, and it's both them and the residents they care for who suffer," Yarnell said.

The SEIU said workers want accountability for $600 million in public funds that nursing homes will receive in the state budget, of which 70% is to be spent on staffing and bedside care..

No additional bargaining dates have been set but workers are hopeful to get back to the table as soon as possible.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at jnapsha@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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