For Immediate Release: Friday, April 7

Contacts: Allison Krause | 315.679.6032 | Allison.Krause@1199.org
Marshall Bertram: 716.563.3662 | Marshall.Bertram@1199.org

Nursing home workers at Elderwood at Grand Island in Grand Island, NY unanimously voted Thursday to issue notice to management of their intent to conduct an informational picket on Friday, April 28. The action comes six months after more than 100 LPNs, CNAs, and service employees at the facility voted to join 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East. Since then, the Employer has refused to recognize the Union and has not responded to repeated requests from 1199SEIU representatives to begin negotiations. “The National Labor Relations Board certified the results of the Union election months ago,” said 1199SEIU Vice-President Todd Hobler. “Instead of doing the right thing and sitting down with their employees to negotiate a fair contract, this Employer wastes time with frivolous court appeals and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees that could have gone to improve conditions for residents and workers at the facility.”

Elderwood at Grand Island workers delivered a petition, signed by a majority of the staff, to the regional administrator two weeks ago asking to begin negotiations. When there was no response again, the decision was made to picket.

“We feel like we are not being respected by Elderwood,” said Cindy Dick, LPN. “We work hard providing care and services to our residents. We just want a fair contract like other 1199 nursing home workers in the area.”

1199SEIU represents over 5,000 nursing home workers in Western New York. Many are at the bargaining table now, with contracts covering 25 nursing homes and 3,500 workers expiring at the end of April, including another Elderwood facility in Williamsville. “We had a democratic vote to join 1199 in October, but Elderwood wouldn’t sit down and bargain,” said Rachael Kerrison, LPN. “We won the appeal challenging that vote in January, but Elderwood still wouldn’t sit down and bargain. We were certified by the NLRB in February and in March we delivered a majority of employees’ petition signatures demanding to bargain - at every step of the way Elderwood has failed to listen. It isn’t right. We need to stand up for ourselves and that is why we are doing the picket.”

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.