Nursing home union workers reach tentative contract agreement ahead of Friday’s strike
SEIU Healthcare announced Thursday morning that it has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for thousands of nursing home workers who were set to strike on Friday.
The two-year contract between the union and the Illinois Association of Health Care Facilities, an organization of nursing home and long-term care facility owners, would bring all workers above $15 an hour and establish greater parity in wages across geographic areas.
It also includes hazard pay for all workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, additional fully paid sick days for COVID-related testing, illness or quarantine through the duration of the pandemic, and provisions ensuring employees will not be required to work during the pandemic without adequate personal protective equipment, as determined by regulatory agencies.
“All of the major contract gains will help safeguard the health and safety of workers and the residents for which they care—at a time when both are vulnerable to the risks associated with COVID-19,” the union said in a statement.
The agreement was “overwhelmingly supported” by members of the union’s bargaining committee, and must now be ratified by the larger group of members.
Bob Molitor, an association board member and CEO of Alden Network, said in a statement the new contract is a commitment to support its workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are grateful a walkout was avoided, and that our heroic staff members will continue caring for our vulnerable seniors as we fight this battle together,” Molitor said.
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