1199SEIU Members at Niagara County Nursing Home Reach 1-Year Tentative Agreement

More than 70 nursing home workers at Schoellkopf Health Center, represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East reached a new 1-year Tentative Agreement with their employer late Thursday. Schoellkopf Health Center is the nursing home attached to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

“I am very pleased with the results and mutual respect with hard work that it took to make this contract one of the best ever,” said Earl Pugh, Licensed Practical Nurse.  “We worked to combine our bargaining units into one agreement.  This was a collective effort. Congratulations to our team and to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for leading the way to show they value employees at Schoellkopf,” said Pugh.

“We are thrilled to have reached this tentative agreement at Schoellkopf,” said Grace Bogdanove, 1199SEIU Vice-President for WNY Nursing Homes. “Management came to the table earnestly and collaboratively to ensure that recruitment and retention were a collective priority. It is incredibly disappointing that our negotiations with Absolut Care are in stark contrast to Schoellkopf’s approach, which put workers and quality resident care first. Absolut Care management has approached negotiations with a focus on keeping their facilities some of the lowest paid in the area and putting profit over workers, with millions of dollars spent on related party transactions rather than investing in the healthcare workers who provide care to some of the most vulnerable members of our rural communities,” said Bogdanove.

The one-year tentative agreement includes Juneteenth and Labor Day as paid holidays and a new 10-step wage scale with additional longevity increases for employees with up to 25 years of service.  In addition, the tentative agreement includes an average 11% wage increase retroactive to May 1st with some workers receiving up to 34%, increased pension contributions of $1.10 per hour, increases to shift differential, increases to employer contribution on dental and optical plans, and increases to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) charge pay, and a new $3.00 differential for LPN’s who take on additional responsibilities in the event of short staffing.

Nursing home workers at Schoellkopf will vote on the agreement soon.

1199SEIU represents Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Unit Clerks and Laundry Aides.

The new agreement in Niagara Falls comes on the heels of 4 strikes set to begin at Absolut Care nursing homes in Allegany, Aurora Park, Westfield, and Orchard Park next Thursday at 6 AM.

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