October 30, 2008

Nursing Home Caregivers, Patients Win Improvements in New Union Contracts Negotiated in October

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of SEIU 6434, United Long-Term Care Workers' Union have negotiated new collective bargaining agreements that will make improvements for hundreds of caregivers and the residents in their care at several California nursing homes.

In all, seven new contracts covering over 700 workers provide on average wage increases of $1.50/hr over three years, employer contributions to an education and training fund, increased contributions to employee healthcare, and in two homes, contributions to employee family healthcare. Better pay and benefits have shown to result in lower staff turnover, which ensures a more experienced, stable group of caregivers for residents.

   Agreements reached include the following facilities:    -- Lighthouse Healthcare Center (Los Angeles)   -- Vernon Convalescent Hospital (Los Angeles)   -- Skilled Sharon Care (Los Angeles)   -- SunBridge Paradise (Paradise)   -- Sun Mar North Valley Nursing Center (Tujunga)   -- Country Villa Health Services (Pomona)   -- Knott Avenue Care Center (Buena Park)     A majority of these agreements represent first-time contracts for workers.  
"This is a big deal for me and my family," said Ruby Coleman, a CNA at Skilled Sharon Care. "For years we've struggled just to pay the bills and heaven forbid I ever got sick. But now with a raise and health benefits, my family and I can breathe a little easier."

The changes being made to improve resident life at nursing homes are possible largely in part from collaborative efforts between the union, senior advocates, religious and community leaders, and nursing home operators to pass the Nursing Home Quality Care Act (AB 1629) which provides additional funding for nursing home facilities.

SEIU Local 6434, the United Long-Term Care Workers' Union, represents over 160,000 long-term care workers (nursing home and homecare workers) in 10 California counties.

SEIU Local 6434

CONTACT: Scott Mann, +1-323-333-4850, for SEIU Local 6434