Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Nursing Home Workers Go Back to Work March 3
Workers at a Westport nursing home will return to work on Sunday, March 3 after eight months off the job under the terms of their original contract until a final decision is reached in the federal court case against the company, their union said today.
Workers at Westport Health Care make their views known last July. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
About 600 nurses, aides and support staff at five HealthBridge-operated nursing homes in Connecticut, including Westport Health Care, are involved in the dispute.
They walked off the job last July after HealthBridge instituted a “last, best and final” contract after more than a year of unsuccessful negotiations with the union.
The union representing the workers, New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, SEIU, contended that the contract was unfair and was illegally implemented.
A union spokeswoman, Debroah Chernoff, described the return to work as “a major victory for patients and workers.”
She said the caregivers are returning to their jobs under the same terms and conditions of their prior collective bargaining agreement. The union will resume contract negotiations with HealthBridge until a final decision is reached in the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case against the company, Chernoff said.
Comments: Comment Policy
My impression is that these workers are mostly uneducated, foreign born folks who should feel damned lucky to be in the Untied States and have any job at all. What the hell are they striking for in the first place; they should be thanking the nursing home for hiring them, doing their jobs and feeling oh so very lucky not to be in the homeland they fled for a better life here.
Wow, Mr. Katz, shades of America, circa 1860 going on here with your words. I guarantee that if it were YOU who were there, underpaid and unappreciated for the work you do (assuming, of course, you had not been blessed with your superior education and lifestyle), YOU would be out there trying to bring attention to the situation, as well.These people (equal to all others, including yourself) are only expecting a fair deal in the negotiations in order to provide for themselves and their families. It’s been a long haul for them and I sincerely hope they get a bigger slice of the pie for it is THEY who are caring for our seniors: the YOU and I of tomorrow…
You are surely correct that I am blessed to have the life I have (my education ain’t so very “superior”) and to have had the upbringing I had; a fact for which I am thankful every day of my life.
Also, you are correct that you and I will, someday, need assistance such as the striking workers provide WHEN THEY ARE ON THE JOB AND NOT ON THE PICKET LINE.
However, in this economy, with thousand of people out of work, I am always shocked that people WITH jobs do not appreciate them and even more surprised when them with the jobs try to beat up their employers for more of the pie.
Without being in their collective shoes, I don’t think we are in a position to judge, one way or another with regard to the slicing of the pie.
I’m edified to know that you are, however, among those who recognize their own good fortunes as the gifts that they are…so on that score, you’re OK in my book!
I hope to bump into you one day in town and shake your hand.
It would be my pleasure.
Dan - The job that many of these workers (the caretakers of the frail elderly) do are a job that MOST would not/could not do. The owners of facilities such as this one get richer while the caregivers to the frail elderly are paid minimum wage for back breaking, often distasteful, nauseating work.
We should be supporting their fight for fair wages.
More often than not, I side with “the worker” in cases such as this (though I think unions have gone way overboard in demands, to their own detriment…GM’s bankruptcy is a case in point) but with these workers, who HAVE JOBS in a down economy when so many have no jobs, I do not sympathize and think they should be glad for the work and wages they have at this point.
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Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport