FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 3, 2018
After over a year of legal proceedings, Golden Living Centers (GLC) has agreed to pay nearly 2,000 former nursing home employees who are members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania almost $1.7 million in unpaid sick and vacation time from 2017. Workers impacted are licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, and service and technical workers at 17 facilities in Pennsylvania.
“I am proud of what we were able to accomplish because we stood together as union members all across the state,” said Brennan Mills, a CNA at Meadows at West Shore in Camp Hill. “Companies will try to take advantage of workers like us when they get into financial trouble, but because we have a voice through our union, we were able to force GLC to pay us what they owed.”
In 2016 and 2017, GLC sold its portfolio of operations in Pennsylvania while maintaining ownership over the real estate where the facilities were housed. Because GLC failed to sell some of those properties by a certain date, under union contracts, the union contended that GLC was required to pay back the sick and vacation benefits union members had continued to accrue as long as they were GLC employees. An arbitrator agreed with SEIU in December 2017, but GLC appealed that decision in federal court.
For months, SEIU members worked to bring attention to this dispute by holding a media call, signing petitions and continually calling GLC management to demand payment.
On April 4, 2018, SEIU met with GLC for a mediation session to try to reach resolution on the nearly $1.8 million owed to members. Golden Living Centers agreed to pay workers 89 percent of what they were owed for both sick and vacation time. Workers will receive these payments in three installments, due on or before June 1, 2018, November 1, 2018 and February 1, 2019.
“We are pleased that these hardworking caregivers will finally be compensated by Golden Living Centers for the money they earned,” said Matthew Yarnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “While we wished GLC would have paid workers 100 percent of what they are owed, we believe this is the best outcome to ensure workers get paid now instead of having to wait potentially for years as the court process dragged on.”