On Friday, June 28, 2013 healthcare workers at Williamsville Suburban plan to hold an informational picket outside of the facility to bring their case of quality care and low wages to the public. Williamsville Suburban is located at 193 S Union Road, Williamsville,NY 14221. Informational picketing will take place from 1-5:00pm with a press conference at 3:30pm.
The nearly 200 Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Activity Aides, Maintenance staff and Unit Clerks who work at Williamsville Suburban voted to join 1199SEIU in November of last year. After nearly eight months of negotiations, talks have stalled over wages, health insurance and providing sick time benefits for part time employees, all leading causes of the significant employee turnover rates at Williamsville.
“I have been working at Williamsville Suburban for many years and I have seen many employees come and go. High turnover rates are never good for the residents, and as we bargain this contract we want to do everything we can to help retain good, quality healthcare workers. Our residents deserve it!” said C.N.A Gabe Tyler.
“The people who provide the hands on care and services to the residents of Williamsville Suburban are some of the lowest paid nursing home workers in this area,” said 1199 Vice-President and Chief Negotiator Todd Hobler. “This is a for-profit facility operated by a downstate investor who has the money to give employees a fair wage increase but refuses to do so.”
“A good contract means good changes for our residents.” said Ravonne Jacobs, who has worked as a Restorative Aide at Williamsville Suburban for many years. “Caring for the sick and elderly is very humbling yet difficult work; it is management’s job to make sure that they are able to keep the best employees possible here.”
“This nursing home struggles with employee turnover because workers can’t afford to continue to work there,” said Hobler. “Resident care is not helped by such turnover and related staffing issues.”
The 1199SEIU employee bargaining committee has made proposals that would bring Williamsville Suburban closer to typical nursing home wages and benefits in Western New York. Management rejected those proposals, and countered with proposals that would not sufficiently address the underlying causes of the high turnover rates. The Union Bargaining Committee rejected this counter on Monday and called for a picket.