Healthcare Union and Provider Among the First to Agree to $15 in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa., April 19, 2016 —Just weeks after reaching a landmark new collective bargaining agreement that will give a pathway for wages for most certified nursing assistants to $15 an hour and improve the quality of care for seniors, Golden Living – one of the largest long term living providers in Pennsylvania – and SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania – the state’s largest union of nurses and healthcare workers – have reaffirmed their commitment to healthcare workers in Pennsylvania and announced a renewed focus on expanding their ongoing partnership to enhance the quality of care for residents and patients.
At a joint press conference held at the union’s headquarters, company and union officials highlighted the new contract – which was ratified by union members in meetings held across the state over the last two weeks – as a major step forward toward reducing direct care worker turnover, improving care, and boosting Pennsylvania’s economy.
“Having a successful labor management relationship serves as a strong foundation for our mission to provide quality care for our patients and residents,” said Golden LivingCenters President Julianne Williams. “We value the role the SEIU plays for our caregivers and look forward to strengthening that bond as we jointly do what is best for them.”
Golden Living cares for over 34,000 patients and residents a year in Pennsylvania and operates 36 LivingCenters. Golden Living employs 5,314 healthcare professionals in the state of Pennsylvania.
“The new collective bargaining agreement achieved by Golden Living and union members is a historic step forward that will lift thousands of caregivers out of poverty and improve care for seniors in communities across Pennsylvania,” said SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania President Neal Bisno. “We applaud Golden Living for becoming one of the first long term living providers in the state to agree to a pathway to lift wages to $15 an hour.”
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania unites 25,000 nurses and healthcare workers across Pennsylvania, including nurses, direct care workers and support staff at the majority of Golden LivingCenters in the state.
“Golden Living stands committed to the goal of constant quality improvement,” said Golden Living Chief Executive Officer Dr. Neil Kurtz. “Our caregivers represent the front lines of our mission to care for our patients and residents, and we are proud to invest in them.”
“I’m excited about our new union contract that gives us a pathway to earn $15 an hour. Not only will it help me pay my bills, I believe it will also positively affect our residents. If we as caregivers can rest a bit easier financially, we will be less stressed and can be more focused on providing great care,” said Brennan Mills, certified nursing assistant from GLC West Shore. “I am happy that Golden Living wants to continue working with us to build on our success.”
Together, the organizations also emphasize the importance of providing adequate resources to fund healthcare for Pennsylvania taxpayers. Both organizations call upon the legislature to provide reimbursement under the Medicaid program to support caregiver wages and other costs.
“We share a common commitment to ensuring that long term living funding reflects the true cost of providing quality care and that providers and workers who deliver vital long term living services to Pennsylvania’s seniors receive adequate funding,” said Bisno and Kurtz in a joint statement.
About Golden Living (www.goldenliving.com)
Golden Living is a family of companies that specialize in recovery care and is a national leader in providing skilled nursing and post-acute care. Our mission is to share our passion for improving quality of life through innovative healthcare, one person, one family, and one community at a time. We help people recover their health and improve their quality of life through a network of healthcare services including rehab, assisted living, skilled nursing care, hospice, and palliative care. The Golden Living family of companies includes Golden LivingCenters, Aegis Therapies, AseraCare, and 360 Healthcare Staffing. There are 294 Golden LivingCenters in 21 states. Golden Living also offers assisted living services at 12 locations. In addition, the Golden Living companies provide services to more than 1,000 nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Collectively, the Golden Living family of companies has just under 40,000 employees who provide quality healthcare to more than 60,000 patients every day.
About SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania (www.seiuhcpa.org)
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest growing union of health care workers, representing 25,000 nurses, technicians, nursing assistants, and support staff in hospitals, nursing homes and public institutions across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is committed to improving the lives of health care workers and ensuring quality, affordable health care for all Pennsylvanians.