Monday, September 5, 2022

Employees of 2 Nursing Homes in Schuylkill County Strike

Employees from 2 Schuylkill County nursing homes went on strike on Friday morning.

For the past several weeks, we have been learning about healthcare workers in dozens of Pennsylvania nursing homes that have been unhappy with their pay wage, benefits packages, and patient care.

At 6:00am, Friday, 39 employees from Ridgeview Healthcare in Shenandoah Heights, and 22 employees the Gardens at York Terrace in Pottsville officially went on strike hitting the picket line.

In Shenandoah Heights, the employees lined Pennsylvania Avenue near and in Pottsville the employees set up  near the facility entrance along Market Street across from Coney Island.

These workers are members of the SEIU Healthcare Union and include nurses, aides, activities personnel, housekeeping, and maintenance employees from the facilities.

The employees are upset with they pay wage, work conditions, and the way patients are currently treated by the owners of both facilities.

Employees from both facilities were also upset by the way negotiations were handled, as well as funds that the employees help obtain from the State in Harrisburg, were not used towards the employees or the facility itself.

"We were prepared to negotiate Wednesday but after 5 hours of talking, they up and left at 5:45pm, Wednesday." said Donna Pronio, SEIU member and LPN for Ridgeview

Pronio also said the facilities conditions are deteriorating and owners refuse to do anything about it.  "Go look at the parking lot!  You can't even drive through it!" Pronio said.

Scott Bloss, an LPN at York Terrace said "Thousands of SEIU employees went to Harrisburg over the summer and spoke with elected officials, the Governor, everybody.  We helped the owners get a permanent increase in their budgets, of $600,000,000, which was meant for the incentive of longevity pay, keep our benefits, and increase staffing.  That's not happening and it's about continuity for the residents."

According to SEIU, even though there was a holiday Monday, the employees would still be at the picket line.