7,000 Pennsylvania nursing home workers negotiating new contracts

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A 150-person negotiating committee representing nearly 7,000 Pennsylvania nursing home workers met on Tuesday with representatives of major operators such as Golden Living, Genesis HealthCare, Reliant Senior Care, Guardian Elder Care and Extendicare to begin working out new union contracts.

The coordinated negotiations could last through the winter, according to the workers' union, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. Following Tuesday's meeting in Harrisburg, the nursing home negotiators returned to their facilities to consult with coworkers and prepare for the next stage of bargaining.

Workers will negotiate on wages and benefits, as well as the availability of training opportunities. The union stressed that coordinated bargaining that leads to fair contracts is important in recruiting and retaining good long-term care workers.

Nursing home workers also want to be a part of how long-term care evolves, given the fiscal challenges providers face on the state and federal level, as well as other factors that could lead to “fundamental change,” SEIU said.

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